The Goosefoot Community Fund campaign to help fund the school garden program has been spectacularly successful again this year! In 2015, the community donated $26,048 to meet the $15,000 match from the Goose Grocer… and the Goose raised its match for a total of $$52,096 being donated to the School District!
The public is invited to join in the “big check” ceremony on Thursday, January 28, 4 pm at The Goose Grocer, where the donation will be given to the South Whidbey School District. The Goose is located at 14485 SR 525 on South Whidbey Island.
A big thank you to all the community members who contributed to funding the school garden program this year, and especially to the Goosefoot Community Fund who made this all possible!
The South Whidbey School District Garden Program is the result of a unique collaboration amongst several Whidbey Island non-profits: Good Cheer Food Bank, Goosefoot, South Whidbey School District, Whidbey Institute, and Whidbey Island Nourishes (WIN).
The Goose Grocer is owned by Goosefoot. “The store is now able to give back to our community in a direct way, and the school garden is the perfect program to be supporting,” according to Sandra Whiting, Goosefoot’s executive director. “We are grateful to our donors and to the community at large for partnering with us to ensure that the school gardens will continue to thrive.”
“This money will allow us to hire a part-time farm manager and two part-time garden educators, I couldn’t be more thrilled!” says program manager Cary Peterson. “We’ve got a very busy year ahead of us and the community’s generosity will help us meet our goals.” Moving forward, Cary and her staff will continue working with faculty to develop and expand integrated curriculum across grades K-12. They will work on attaining their goal of year-round harvesting and delivery to the school lunch program. And planting fruit trees at the School Farm and the Langley Middle School are in the works as well.
Last year, the garden-based curriculum expanded to include all classes K-5 at the Elementary School and South Whidbey Academy, with every student picking and eating fresh veggies during classes. Garden-based science curriculum is now being taught to all 7th grade classes. And in the cafeterias, over 1000 pounds of fresh school-grown produce was delivered for school lunches.
Read the Press Release HERE!