Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Connecting Farms to Morse High School


The Bath Freight Shed Alliance is happy to announce a successful first year of collaboration with local farms, the Morse High School Food Pantry, and students in the Culinary Arts program at the Bath Regional Career and Technical Center. Last summer the Alliance targeted $250 from the proceeds of its popular Full Moon Dinners to support the Pantry. These funds were used to buy carrots from Goranson Farm in Dresden, a member of the Bath Farmers Market and a longtime leader in community supported agriculture.

Julia Simmons, Special Ed Teacher at Morse High School, long time Goranson Farm employee and Bath Freight Shed Alliance volunteer together with Jon Merry, Alliance board member, Dragonfly Cove Farm in Dresden, and a graduate of the Culinary Arts program connected with the students at the BRCTC. Students visited Goranson and Dragonfly Cove Farms to get a better sense of the process by which food is selected, grown, tended and harvested. They have cut and bagged carrots for the Food Pantry as well as the Fruit for Everyone program, which provides fruit in every classroom for all students at no cost. They also incorporated the carrots into healthy snacks which were made available to all students during the midterm exam period.
 "Working with the kids, I wanted to expose them to current trends in the food world. I was a graduate of the program 13 years ago and would have loved something like this. I was hoping to jump start their school year and get them a little excited about food."

The Morse High School Food Pantry serves 15 to 25 students daily, and collaborates with the Bath Food Bank to ensure food resources reach students and families in need. Students and faculty at both Morse and Bath Regional Career and Technical Center are involved in staffing, stocking and managing donations to the Food Pantry.

Jon and Julia's work with the students reflects Alliance goals of community education and increased local access to healthy fresh local foods. And the kids are engaged. "We are planning on repeating the donation this year; some students helped with the Bike Maine Dinner (at the Freight Shed); they will be at the September dinner again this year."