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Fresh From The Farm Raises Over $800,000 For Extra Curricular Activities

Stock photo - Pixabay.com

Close to 500 schools participated in the program this year by selling over 700,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.

WOODSTOCK - The Fresh From The Farm fundraising program has generated more money for extra curricular activities.

Schools who were participating in the program were congratulated by Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman and Ontario Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce on Friday for their efforts in promoting Ontario produce, along with raising money for extra curricular activities. It provides a unique and healthy fundraising opportunity that benefits local schools, supports our farmers and promotes healthy eating to Ontario families.

Hardeman says students have an opportunity to learn more about nutrition and support their school through the program.

"Fresh from the Farm provides an innovative opportunity for Ontario students to learn about the healthy, nutritious food our hardworking farmers grow while also supporting their local schools' extracurricular programming. We also appreciate the coordination effort of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association and each school that participates in this great program."

40% of the funds raised go towards the schools, which are used to support initiatives like school yard improvement projects and fun, educational class trips, as well as other supplementary or after-school programs.

Fresh from the Farm is a collaboration between the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association and the Ontario government. 471 schools took part this year and have generated over $862,355 for extracurricular activities by selling 713,612 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Minister Lecce praised the OFVGA for their involvement in the program.

"I join Minister Hardeman in encouraging healthy eating and lifestyles for our students, while promoting the interests of Ontario farmers. I thank the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association for teaching children with pride about the good things grown in Ontario."

Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association,  Bill George Jr. says they'll continue to work with the provincial government in the annual program.

 "The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association is pleased to be working with government to deliver the seventh year of the Fresh from the Farm school fundraising program. Once again, the program has been a success with over 710,000 pounds of Ontario-grown apples and root vegetables sold and nearly $350,000 raised for schools. The OFVGA looks forward to continuing this partnership with government in 2020 to support school fundraising, access to local food and Ontario farmers."

Close to 2,200 schools have participated in Fresh from the Farm since 2013. Collectively, the schools have distributed over 4.3 million pounds of fresh, local fruit and vegetables to Ontario families, generating a total of almost $5 million in local food sales across the province.

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