GSC Celebrates Farm to School Month
It’s National Farm to School Month! And Guåhan Sustainable Culture (GSC) plans to raise awareness of healthy, local food and agriculture through education opportunities for the island’s next generation.
GSC joins some 200+ organizations across the United States and U.S. territories to recognize Farm to School Month, which is in October. It was designated in 2010 and first celebrated in 2011, aiming to encourage direct farm to school programs nationwide.
Farm to School enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local farmers by enhancing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites.
Planning new farm to school activities, developing new partnerships, and building new community gardens are some ways to observe National Farm to School Month.
To partake in celebrating National Farm to School Month, GSC has a partnership underway with Career Tech High Academy Charter School, the Home of the Siheks in Hågat, Guam. GSC plans to help the students learn how to develop and care for a community garden on school grounds. Students will learn about food security and healthy living through gardening and hands-on learning activities conducted by GSC.
“Our purpose is to help educate the youth about the importance of eating healthy local produce and supporting local farmers,” GSC President and Co-founder Michelle Crisostomo said. “As they get older they’ll be familiar with produce grown on Guam and the benefits of eating local food while also having a better understanding and appreciation of where their food comes from.”
Additionally, GSC is hosting a week-long free spooky garden activities in recognition of National Farm to School Month and Halloween at the Guam Green Growth (G3) Community Garden in Hagatna across the post office.The outreach is themed Spooktober Community Outreach and covers various topics including container gardening and seedlings.
Furthermore, through the Governor’s Education Assistance and Youth Empowerment Grant, GSC is in the planning phases for a summer and after school program for elementary and middle school students. It’s called GSC Little Sprouts Academy which will actively engage Guam’s students in gardening and social activities at our community garden at Sagan Kotturan Cultural Center in Tamuning. It covers topics of environmental stewardship, sustainability, health, wellness, and nutrition.
About 23.6 million kids have participated in Farm to School activities year-round.
GSC recently became a member of the National Farm to School Network whose vision is a racially just food system for all. In July 2020, GSC received a grant from the Network’s Covid-19 Relief Fund for its Supporting Farmers, Sustaining Families Initiative to purchase fresh produce from farmers and distribute them to families and children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.