The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, through a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), in partnership with UGA Cooperative Extension and FoodCorps, will host a “Garden to Table” curriculum series geared towards container gardening, healthy eating, and food preservation for students and parents at Cornelia Elementary and Rabun County Elementary. The curriculum is divided into three areas: container and small-plot gardening, kitchen basics, and cooking. The classes will be taught by local chefs and farmers, and Food Bank and school staff. Each family that participates will receive their very own EarthBox container garden, in which they’ll be able to plant, grow, and harvest items which will then form part of the menu in the cooking classes. The series is scheduled to begin at the end of February or the beginning of March.
Cornelia Elementary hosted a parent meeting for interested families on Thursday, January 28th, both to explain the “Garden to Table” series, and to seek input from parents on what days and times worked best for their schedules. Habersham’s FoodCorps Service Member Susie Burton discussed the benefits of participating in the classes, and TJ Smith of the Food Bank highlighted the ideas behind the curriculum and NIFA grant, emphasizing the opportunities the series will provide for strengthening the CES community by building relationships within and between families. The series will not only offer CES families training in growing, cooking, and preserving healthy foods, but will also provide a space and time for families to create memories in the kitchen and around the dinner table. CES’ Parent Involvement Coordinator, Angela Cook, generously volunteered to translate at the meeting for Spanish-speaking parents. Fifth grade teachers Holly Skinner, Shannon Gasaway, and Laura Peeples, champions of Farm to School at CES, were present to show their support.