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Letter to the Editor: Farm-to-School program worth modest investment

I am a home childcare provider and educator in Bristol, and I support expanding Farm-to-School in Vermont to include childcare, and increasing state funding to $500,000 to help more children experience Farm-to-School.
In the past year, I was fortunate to participate in a series of workshops hosted by Shelburne Farms that introduced me to the Farm-to-School program. It was a unique, important, and wholesome experience, and I believe that Farm-to-School should be gifted to every Vermont child.
There are many reasons why Farm-to-School for our youngest Vermonters is necessary. First, there are too many hungry children and families in Vermont. Young children need access to good nutritious foods to develop strong growing bodies, develop intelligent, functioning brains, and have happy, comforted souls.
Second, using local farm-raised products is critical as they are the best for babies and children for proper growth, and purchasing local food supports our local farm economy.
Finally, developing healthy eating habits is best started in the early years. This is an investment that will put Vermont’s children at a great advantage throughout their lives.
As a lifelong childcare provider and educator for children of all ages, I can attest to how important healthy food and lifestyle are, and the positive effects they have on children’s ability to function and thrive. We need to do the very best we can for our small Vermonters, their families, and our wonderful communities. I hope that our legislators will invest in our children and our farms, and work to get this important program funded at $500,000.
Patti Smith
Bristol

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