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ANeSU seeks input on how to get local foods into schools

BRISTOL — Bristol-area school administrators are looking for people who are interested in their schools’ food systems, wish to see more local foods in public schools or think food education is important.
Addison Northeast Supervisory Union administrators are seeking input from these people and all members of the public as the ANeSU aims to restructure the food system of all six of its schools. 
Parents, teachers, food service staff, farmers and students from the five-town area are encouraged to discuss food strategies, policies and education with administrators on Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 6-8:30 p.m., at the small cafeteria in Mount Abraham Union High School.
“We’re engaged in the process of creating this (food) cooperative to bring all six schools together,” said Kathy Alexander, director of the ANeSU Food Service Cooperative. “We’re at a point where I feel like people who have a real interest in how kids eat and how we feed students and how food is part of the educational process need to come together and talk about what this (cooperative) is going to look like going forward.”
Alexander hopes the meeting will help to bring people “together to create a vision for a school food system, which promotes health and community through farm to school initiatives, nutrition education, wellness policies and other strategies.”
Using funds from a Vermont Department of Agriculture grant, Alexander will bring in Abbie Nelson from Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day) to facilitate the discussion.
An offshoot of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, FEED works to provide students with better nutrition and improve food education in schools.
“If you’re thinking we should really have more local food … and want to make that can happen, or if you think food education is lacking and you want to see more, we want to hear that and brainstorm together as to how to make that happen,” said Alexander.
“The emphasis (of this meeting) is on bringing stakeholders together,” she said. “I do believe that it remains to be seen if there is the interest to go forward with this type of thing.”
Community members interested in attending this event should send an e-mail to Kathy Alexander at [email protected].

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