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  • FoodService Director: Chartwells launches nationwide garden program for schools

    Chartwells is promising to help school foodservices establish a garden for students.

    The contractor has teamed up with KidsGardening.org, a resource of of the National Gardening Association, to get the seeds planted nationwide. The program is called eat. learn. live.  and aims to teach children about the sources of food and sound nutrition.

    Schools are provided with a free 132-page resource guide, which officials say is the first-of-its-kind. It provides instruction on how to grow and sustain a garden regardless of “space, climate or resources.”

    Margie Saidel, VP of culinary, nutrition and sustainability for Chartwells, said the program is an outgrowth of a pilot program undertaken earlier this year at eight schools.

    “Some of our pilots were getting a garden started for the first time, while others wanted to take their garden to the next level or introduce the harvest to the menu at school,” Saidel told FoodService Director. “With KidsGardening.org, we were able to look at what really worked and where schools might have challenges, and apply that insight to the program.”

    The guide also includes tips on how to build community support, form a committee and incorporate the garden into curriculums such as English, math, science and history.

    “School gardens create an opportunity to learn by doing, get exercise, and develop a deeper connection with food, opening minds and palates to new food adventures,” said Saidel. “Through the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program, we want to make great school gardens possible in every school.”

    From FoodService Director

    November 20, 2015