Elementary students from St. Clair Evans Academy had a unique opportunity this Wednesday to see, touch, and taste produce fresh from a local farm, right in the heart of Jacksonville. The students toured White Harvest Farms and Farmers Market on Moncrief Road – a project of the Clara White Mission. Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) Food Services and Chartwells K12 partnered with White Harvest to sponsor the event, in honor of National Farm to School Month.
Kate Dienst, Senior Registered Dietician for Chartwells, shared that, “We are developing direct relationships every day with farms throughout Florida and southern Georgia in order to provide fresh, local produce to our student population here in Jacksonville. We are fortunate to have such a fantastic resource as White Harvest Farms located in the middle of our community. Our partnership will help us to provide nutrition education resources to the students, so that they understand how their food goes from the farm to their lunch trays every day.”
During the visit to the farm, students were able to tour White Harvest’s Farmers Market, harvest okra, learn about seedlings, and even plant seeds in a specially marked area of the farm dedicated to the class. The class will have the opportunity to return once the plants have matured to harvest them themselves. A professional chef from Chartwells K12 used the locally sourced okra in a live cooking demonstration and sampling, and the students were able to take recipe cards and seedlings back home with them. The event ended with a $10,000 check presentation to dedicate the new partnership.
“The Clara White Mission and White Harvest Farms are excited and grateful for this opportunity and the unexpected gift from Chartwells. This collaboration is the perfect way to give back to young people and families in this underserved community,” said Ju’Coby Pittman, CEO/President of The Clara White Mission, Inc.
For more information, please contact Krishelle Hancock, Sr. Director of Marketing and Strategy, at Krishelle.Hancock@compass-usa.com or by calling (904) 732-5117.