Over a decade ago, parents, teachers and administrators agreed it was time to enhance school cafeterias through food education in the classrooms. Common Roots was born to become the community partner in this endeavor. Scroll ahead a decade. While there are further improvements to be made in every school food system, Common Roots has facilitated 5 food education and access programs that educate children and families about the value of nutrition. We have built relationships with our city, schools, the Farm at South Village community, foundations and many local businesses to achieve our goals. Along with our talented staff, farmers and volunteers, we thank the University of Vermont for the committed interns that join us each semester and summer.
Who would expect to see a group of eighth graders sitting around a table together after school, filling their plates with spaghetti squash? In Common Roots’ Farm to Go program this wouldn’t be uncommon for our middle school student-chefs! In this after-school program, students gather to cook a balanced meal using local food and produce from the Common Roots Farm at South Village. They begin by snacking on a featured produce item from the farm, which will be incorporated into the day’s menu. In a recent session, students decided that white carrots were “definitely sweeter” than orange or purple. To date 12,834 nutritious meals have been crafted by students to share that evening with their families with the recipes in hand.
As young students work together with Common Roots’ educators in Farm to School monthly lessons, you find excitement to cooking, tasting and learning about new foods. Each lesson is communicated with the parents, including the recipes. A third-grade boy commented, “I just can’t get enough of this salsa!”
Our commitment to food education and food access is simply a spoke in the wheel of rounding out holistic education for a healthier community. We hope you will take a moment to learn more about Common Roots.
Visit our Farmstand at the Farm at South Village, 55 Allen Road East, Open Daily
8 am – 8pm until Thanksgiving. Your patronage supports our mission!
Carol McQuillen, co-founder and director