Some crops from Streef Produce are donated to the Fresh From The Farm program
By Diego Flammini
Crops from a Princeton, Ont. farm will help elementary school students across the province raise money for their schools.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes from Streef Produce are part of the offerings for the Fresh From The Farm school program. Students sell fresh local produce to fundraise for their schools instead of traditional chocolate bars and other items.
For $14, customers receive 5 lbs. (2.2 kg) of potatoes, 3 lbs. (1.3 kg) of carrots, 3 lbs. of onions and 3 lbs. of sweet potatoes. They can add 8 lbs. (3.6 kg) of Empire apples for an extra dollar.
About 1,165 schools have participated in the program since it launched in 2013. Students have raised more than $1.1 million for school initiatives by selling about 2.7 million pounds of Ontario fruits and vegetables.
The Streef family has participated in the program since day one and use it to help educate young people about agriculture.
“Many of the children have no idea where their food comes from,” Mikayla Streef, a member of the family operation, told Farms.com. “One of the best things about this program is that we get to meet the kids and they get to meet real farmers. It’s great to see the look in their eyes when we explain to them how the food gets from the farm to their plate.”
The effects of the program can reach further than when the farmers drop off the produce, Streef said.
“This program has benefits outside of just the schools,” she said. “All it takes is for one person to buy a bundle, see that a local farmer raised the produce and start to develop an interest in local agriculture. Participating in the program is another way to help people make informed decisions when they go to the grocery store.”