The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program (FFVSP) at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School (BJM) provides free fresh fruits and vegetables, local and/or organic whenever possible, in the classroom every day to all students and staff.
UPDATE: As of this school year (2014/2015) the program, now called the Fresh Snack Program, is operated by Wood's Earth Living Classroom, also known as Wood's Earth. It continues to serve all students at BJM plain fresh fruit and vegetable snacks with an emphasis on local and organic, every school day.
Also, the program this year includes a weekly pilot with the Child Nutriton Program of the Ithaca City School District. The pilot includes preparation of the fresh produce snacks by the staff at ICSD's Central Kitchen at Boyton. The snacks are then delivered to all students of BJM and Enfield Elementary School on Wednesdays, distributed by cafeteria staff at the schools.
The Center for Transformative Action serves as the fiscal agent for Wood's Earth, and is now the fiscal agent for the Fresh Snack Program, (Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program).
The program has been an incredible success, not only increasing access to nutritious fruits and vegetables, but also allowing children to develop an appreciation for our local produce. It is ICH's vision to expand the snack program to all schools in the district.
The program, launched in Spring of 2008, was conceived and operated by the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food in partnership with GreenStar Community Projects. The Village at Ithaca was the fiscal agent from 2009 - summer of 2014. The FFVSP was operated by the Ithaca Community Harvest from 2010 - spring of 2014, with a volunteer Steering Committee various employees. The program is run on grants and donactions, with the snack budget being supplemented by produce donated from local farms, orchards, and gardens when possible. The Ithaca Community Harvest leveraged collaboration and experimented with different ideas to make the program more stable so that it may continue into the future.
It is the cooperative efforts of students and teachers that have made the FFVSP a success. Students and teachers pick up the snacks each morning and learn about the fruits and vegetables that they will serve in the classroom. Students are also responsible for returning the bowls to the kitchen, rinsing out the bowls and utensils, and composting the leftovers. Students have exceeded expectations with their open minds and adventurous spirits, as most of them will try and enjoy raw beets, fennel, kale, turnips and more!
Visit our Snack Tips page to learn about making affordable fruit and veggie snacks for your classroom or group.
If you'd like to support the Fresh Snack Program, please email Vanessa at email@example.com to discuss donations or volunteering possibilites with this effort.