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Ontario schools sell local produce during fundraising campaign

Ontario schools sell local produce during fundraising campaign

Almost 500 schools participated in the Fresh from the Farm program this year

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

Students from nearly 500 Ontario schools raised money for their schools and supported local farmers through the Fresh from the Farm campaign.

Students sell fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to the community. The schools keep 40 per cent of the sales income to be re-invested back into the school community.

For $13, customers receive 5 lbs of potatoes, 3 lbs of carrots, 3 lbs of sweet potatoes and 3 lbs of onions.

And for $15, customers can get 8 lbs of Empire apples.

The fundraiser is a great way to introduce kids to agriculture while supporting a good cause, says Kelly Ciceran, general manager of Ontario Apple Growers.

“The students can learn that not everything comes from the grocery store and that there’s real people behind the food they eat,” she told today. “That’s absolutely one of the biggest benefits of this program. When you add the fundraising aspect to it as well, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

The campaign has raised more than $1 million  this year. Since the program began in 2013, more than 1,100 schools have participated, selling almost 3 million pounds of Ontario produce and generating $3 million in sales.

The program is a joint effort between the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Ontario Ministry of Education, Dietitians of Canada and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

The groups all praised the program for its benefits to Ontario, its students and its farmers.

“This program provides valuable opportunities for our students to connect with farmers while learning more about the nutritious fruits and veggies grown in Ontario,” Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, said in a statement today. “Buying local not only supports our province’s nearly 50,000 family farms but it tastes good too!”