Healthfully fed kids are Better learners!
Our Year-end Fundraising efforts and participation in the Newman's Own and Crowdrise Holiday Challenge are dedicated to raising funds to build a permanent Greenhouse structure to support the Farm-to-School program efforts across the Long Beach (NY) School District. Your financial support this Holiday season will go towards further developing a hands-on program, district-wide, that can help to combat chronic health diseases, obesity, and promote the invaluable lessons of vocational horticulture training for our children.
LI Greenmarket Inc. is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving open spaces and providing residents with direct access to fresh, homegrown foods produced by local farmers, fishermen, and horticulturalists. We accomplish this mission through a variety of activities, including our weekly farmers markets, Youth education programming, nutrition outreach, and community gardening and composting projects. In addition to offering healthy foods to residents, our various programs provide an opportunity for local producers to sell what they grow, improve regional food security, particularly among lower-income residents, and promote the importance of good nutrition.
One of our year-round outreach activities involves a partnership with the Long Beach (NY) School District's NIKE Work-Based Learning Center, an alternative public high School, designed to meet the needs of students who have not thrived in traditional school setting. LI Greenmarket Inc. has sponsored dozens of student interns from the high school since 2009. Through their roles as interns and market managers, teens gain marketable job skills, as well as the training to grow and harvest their own vegetable produce. In conjunction with the high school teaching staff, students are mentored by qualified LI Greenmarket Inc. staff and volunteers who teach them the vocational side of farming, including selling produce and managing a small business. Also, teens participate in cooking classes where they learn how to healthfully prepare the food that is sold at the Farmer’s market and grown in LI Greenmarket community gardens. Herbs grown in these gardens are donated to local area schools for use in their life skills and home economics courses.
The Long Beach School District has seven schools servicing a population of approximately 3860 students, Pre K-12. The district consists of one pre-kindergarten school, four elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, one alternative high school, and an adult learning center. Roughly 29% of children in the district are eligible for free or reduced lunch programs. LI Greenmarket Inc. works with this District in Nassau County, Long Island to develop and implement a Farm-to School program that increases the volume and variety of local produce procured by the food service department. LI Greenmarket Inc. is actively pursuing grants to facilitate in working with this district in helping train food service in local food ordering and procuring for Scool lunches, launching a Harvest of the Month program, and a NY Thursday program, where 2 new recipes each month are introduced to students and given to them to eat in school.
A District-Wide Greenhouse would be a critical component in further developing our efforts in helping to raise and teach the next generation of Farmers here on the South Shore of Long Island. Please help us!