“Healthy Acadia Awards Small Equipment Grants to Schools Engaged in Local Purchasing”
December 18, 2015

Healthy Acadia recently awarded Small Equipment Grants to two Washington County schools as part of its USDA Farm to School grant that supports increasing locally grown foods in schools. Food Service Director Roland Botelho at the Perry School will receive funds needed to purchase a new reach-in cooler for storing vegetables.

“Thank you and the healthy Acadia program so very much for our grant award, “said Botelho. “…We [strive] to offer as many fresh fruits and vegetables to our students as possible. Storage has always been an obstacle in reaching our goals for maximizing the local food potential. With this award of $1250.00 we can increase our storage capacity and therefore our ability to hold and order more of not only our own veggies but that of our local partners/farmers as well.”

The Perry School has been an active Farm to School supporter since Downeast Farm to School came to Washington County, thanks to the innovative work of teaching principal, Daniel Morang. Their greenhouse, based on the Greenhouse Project’s model, has inspired several regional schools to build their own. Working with their local 4-H chapter, The Quoddy Kids, the school also maintains 6 outdoor raised garden beds with vegetables through the summer months.

Tricia Blanchard-Beal, Food Service Director at the Cherryfield Elementary School, is receiving a salad bar based on a grant written by the school’s Student Council. The school has been very active on the Farm to School front since the 2013-2014 school year, when Healthy Acadia’s FoodCorps Service Member began serving at the school to support their gardening connections in the classrooms. Many taste testings and two harvests later, Cherryfield Elementary is continuing to weave garden-based activities into the curriculum with the second-year support of FoodCorps.

“We are thrilled to provide support for these important projects,” stated Regina Grabrovac, Healthy Acadia’s Washington County Food Systems Coordinator. “Thank you to the Perry and Cherryfield schools for all that you do to provide fresh healthy meals to your students.”

A second round of Small Equipment Grant funds will be offered in February 2016. For more information, contact Regina Grabrovac at Health Acadia’s Machias office at 255-3741.