School break­fast pro­gram ben­e­fits from Nour­ish N.S. ini­tia­tive

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - By Dar­rell Cole dar­rell.cole@amher­st­ Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

The break­fast pro­gram at Cum­ber­land North Academy has more than 2,000 rea­sons to smile.

The pro­gram is the di­rect ben­e­fi­ciary of a Nour­ish Your Roots fundraiser that saw the school con­nect with lo­cal pro­duc­ers to fill more than 200 boxes with fresh farm pro­duce.

“It was a very good ini­tia­tive,” said home and school as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Krista Smith. “It was a great school fundraiser and it was also very ed­u­ca­tional for the chil­dren be­cause some of them were not fa­mil­iar with some of the veg­eta­bles and pro­duce. Some of them had never seen a but­ter­nut squash.”

Smith heard about the Nour­ish Your Roots pro­gram last year and signed up Cum­ber­land North Academy in hopes of host­ing an event this year.

Nour­ish Your Roots con­nects chil­dren and fam­i­lies to Nova Sco­tia farm­ers with 100 per cent of the pur­chase price be­ing split

be­tween the farm­ers and the school with a small por­tion go­ing to sup­port Nour­ish Nova Sco­tia.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion works to pro­mote healthy eat­ing, es­pe­cially among young peo­ple so they will cre­ate and cham­pion a good food move­ment by learn­ing about nutri­tion, cook­ing from scratch, plan­ning real food meals and cel­e­brat­ing tra­di­tions sur­round­ing good food.

Smith ad­mit­ted to be­ing un­sure how the fundraiser would go and was amazed to dis­cover that 271 boxes were sold.

The boxes in­cluded cab­bage, a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent kinds of squash, a bag of ap­ples from Mala­gash, car­rots, parsnips, sweet potato squash, turnip, onions, beets and pota­toes as well as a recipe card in each box.

The pro­duce all came from Cum­ber­land County farms.

“I didn’t know how well the fundraiser would go be­cause it was $30 for a box, so I was cau­tious,” she said. “It was a very busy day, but it was a very good day. I was im­pressed with how well it went.”

Smith said many fam­i­lies pur­chased the boxes for them­selves, but oth­ers pur­chased boxes for the school’s kitchen, for the food bank and for fam­i­lies who needed the sup­port.

Mem­bers of stu­dents coun­cil and vol­un­teers got to­gether Oct. 5 to take de­liv­ery of the pro­duce, or­ga­nize it and pack it into the boxes that were then picked up by those who pur­chased them.

“We had a great team of vol­un­teers and stu­dent lead­ers work­ing to­gether through­out the day,” prin­ci­pal Kathy Wells said. “There were 10 sta­tions and mem­bers of the stu­dents coun­cil went from sta­tion to sta­tion fill­ing the boxes.”

The break­fast pro­gram is the main bene­fac­tor of the pro­gram. Smith said statis­tics show many chil­dren come to school hun­gry. In some cases, they ate the break­fast early be­cause they had to catch a bus, skipped it or could not af­ford a healthy break­fast.

“Our pro­gram at CNA is run by vol­un­teers and any child can stop in grab some­thing for break­fast. There are juice boxes, yo­gurt, cheese, granola bars and other items,” Smith said. “It’s a very in­clu­sive pro­gram, any­one can take part and there’s no cost.”

Ai­den Lawrence helps pack ap­ples dur­ing a Nour­ish Your Roots event at Cum­ber­land North Academy on Oct. 5.

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