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Edison Elementary School

May 25, 2021

Sharing Produce and Information with Local Families

Edison Elementary School in Tonawanda, New York, participated in the New York State Farm to School Institute, a year-long educational program led by AFT’s Farm to Institution New York State, or FINYS, to aid schools across the state in their farm-to-school efforts.

Using funds received through the New York State Farm to School Institute, the school purchased apples from Smith Orchard’s Cider Mill in nearby Lockport and organized a drive-thru pick-up. A virtual farm tour of the orchard, cooking demonstrations, and recipe suggestions were made available through Google Classroom.

“You can talk about fruits and vegetables, but that means nothing to an elementary school student, until they can taste it, touch it, smell it, and engage with it,” said physical education teacher Nicole Zugelder.

A monthly newsletter features the produce item of the month. It is packed with facts, recipes, and information about local farms. The goal is to give students an understanding of where their food comes from and its nutritional properties, and to encourage the kids to learn about the role food plays in creating family memories and connecting the broader community.

“We’re telling kids to look through recipe books with their families and talk about what their grandparents always made, or what their aunt makes,” says Zugelder. “There’s a lot of stories around food that you can share when you’re sitting at the dinner table.”

Learn more about Farm to Institution New York State.