Goosefoot grant aids school farms

Another $50,000 grant headed to South Whidbey School Farms

More money is being planted into South Whidbey School Farms by Goosefoot.

The nonprofit community development organization announced it plans to continue supporting the school farm and culinary program with a $50,000 grant for the next school year. It has helped the gardens grow with major funding since 2014.

“The South Whidbey School Farms are such an important part of our healthy, growing food system on Whidbey,” said Goosefoot Executive Director Sandra Whiting.

“The school farms have the capacity to not only change the eating habits of our young people, but also their food shopping habits as they get older,” she said. “The schools are educating a new generation of healthy eaters who will want to support our local farmers and who will want to buy and eat local.”

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Goosefoot ran a challenge grant from the Goose Community Grocer, which it owns, in support of the farm program. Over the three-year matching grant challenge, the community and the Goose together raised $170,423 for the School Farms.

The School Farms deliver more than 1,000 pounds of fresh organic produce to the Chartwells-managed school cafeterias, which end up on students’ plates. Salad bars, Taco Tuesdays and more are made with food picked by students, from kindergartners to high school seniors. Some produce also ends up at food banks.

South Whidbey was the first school district in the nation to follow the Chartwells School Garden Guide protocols for delivering produce on a regular basis for school lunches.

The School Farms expanded to the high school last year where two additional gardens are planted. The main half-acre farm is south of the elementary school; there’s also a snack garden to satisfy hungry kids at recess and the middle school garden supplies produce for lunches.

“The school farm and culinary program budget is approximately $160,000,” said farm manager Cary Peterson.

“Goosefoot is contributing $50,000 this year, the school district contributes $50,000 and community fundraising makes up the other $60,000,” she said. “That is why we are dependent on community donations.”

Goosefoot uses proceeds from the Goose Community Grocer to support the local community through grants and programs that help “build a sense of place and community, preserve rural traditions, enhance local commerce, and help create a healthy, sustainable future for South Whidbey Island.”

  • The public is invited to attend the check ceremony 3 p.m., Thursday, June 14 at South Whidbey Elementary School Farm, 5476 Maxwelton Road, Langley.
  • Donations to School Farms may be done with a check, made payable to the South Whidbey School District with “School Farm” on the memo line. Mail to: 5520 Maxwelton Road, Langley, WA 98260.
  • Information: www.whidbeyschoolgardens.wordpress.com

More in News

Island County plan aspires to end homelessness

Local leaders and residents have been discussing the issue of homelessness for… Continue reading

Nutcracker auditions set for September 22

There will be open community auditions on Sunday, Sept. 22, for the… Continue reading

Burn ban lifted by Island County Sheriff’s Office

Due to the increase in “fuel moisture levels,” the Island County Sheriff’s… Continue reading

Port seeks solutions to dogs roaming Greenbank Farm

To address ongoing issues with dogs straying into farmland at the Greenbank… Continue reading

DjangoFest kicking off with food, beer and a big key

It’s time once again for South Whidbey to be Django’d, and there’s… Continue reading

Four Whidbey residents sign up for senate appointment

At least four people from Whidbey Island are asking to be appointed… Continue reading

Residents seek class-action lawsuit over Growler noise

Attorneys representing 24 individuals and couples in Central Whidbey filed a lawsuit… Continue reading

Navy man dies in seventh motorcycle crash on Whidbey since May

A 24-year-old sailor was killed in a collision Saturday afternoon on Ault… Continue reading

Photo by Govinda Rosling
                                A marbled murrelet floats in the water near the Langley marina.
Navy reexamines Growler impacts on seabird

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has declared his first victory in… Continue reading

Most Read