When faced with the challenge of how to implement a more dynamic Farm to School program, Sue Solleder, the Director of Food and Nutrition for Greater Bergen Community Action, "hit the pavement" both literally and figuratively with her Farm to Preschool truck. If you are driving around the Greater Bergen area you just might catch a glimpse of the truck in action. Recently, Troy Greer, Food & Nutrition Manager for Paterson Head Start, & Audra Tamayo, Associate Director of Food and Nutrition for Greater Bergen Community Action, used the truck to visit City Green where they harvested beets for local Head Start preschools.
The program included educating preschoolers on the nutrition of a beet, hands on education (students were able to see and hold a beet that had just been picked from the field), and taste testing of the beet at lunch. The parents were not left out of all the fun as they had a chance to try beet salad and take fresh beets home. Greater Bergen Community Action delivered close to 400 lbs. of beets that day, they have got the "BEET" on Farm to Preschool!
The Greater Bergen Community Action's mission is to reduce poverty within the community and address the causes and conditions of persistent economic insecurity. They service 13 Head Start Programs in Paterson, Jersey City, and Bergen County. In addition to the Farm to Preschool truck, some of Greater Bergen Community Action programs are as follows:
- Food and Nutrition staff provide workshops on healthy eating which includes introducing families to fresh produce
- Dietitians discuss the nutritional benefits of products and accessibility
- Taste testing for caregivers on products served to their children
More information on Greater Bergen Community Action and the work they do to serve their community can be found here.
Agency Happenings, Greater Bergen Community Action