Because of public health issues surrounding the Coronavirus, Winters Farm to School is cancelling its June 20, 2020 Summer Feast. “It was a very difficult decision for our Board to make,” said Gloria Lopez, President of Winters Farm to School, “but it was the right decision. There was just too much uncertainty about whether or not we would even be able to safely hold the event in June. For those who have either sponsored this year’s Feast or purchased tickets in anticipation of the Feast, we will be in touch to offer a full refund. And, if those who have already contributed financially to this year’s Feast feel like they can make this a donation to Winters Farm to School, we would be most grateful because our work in the community continues.”
“Since we have cancelled this year’s Feast, which is our major annual fundraiser, we definitely will participate in this year’s Big Day of Giving,” says Lopez. “So please mark May 7th on your calendars! That is the day of this year’s Big Day of Giving---an annual 24 hour giving challenge to help local nonprofits raise funds for their programs. And this year, because of Coronavirus, those funds are really needed to keep our Winters Farm to School programs going.”
“Right now, Winters Farm to School donates $50,000 to $60,000 per school year to our school district’s Food Services Department,” says Cathy Olsen, Director of Food Services for the Winters School District and a founding member of Winters Farm to School. “The funds that Winters Farm to School donates buy the locally grown, fresh fruits and produce served every day at school. The funds also keep the gardens at Rominger and Waggoner Schools green and growing. Plus, we also use Feast funds to pay for a Coordinator of our Kids Farmers’ Market.”
“Having that funding from Winters Farm to school has really changed the eating habits of our students,” says Olsen. “Shortly before the schools were closed because of Coronavirus, I had an experience that is not untypical here in our school cafeteria. A kindergartener did not want to try eating fresh spinach. But when he saw his friends squeezing fresh lemon juice over the spinach and eating it by the plateful, he also wanted to try it. When he did, he loved it and came back not only for seconds, but for thirds! These kinds of experiences wouldn’t be possible without the funding from Winters Farm to School.”
“So we really do hope people will donate for Big Day of Giving on May 7th. Donors can give at www.bigdayofgiving.org. Donors simply search for non-profit organizations in “Winters” says Olsen.
Monies raised through this year’s Big Day of Giving will be used to fund Winters Farm to School's mission: purchasing and preparing locally grown fresh, local produce, fruits and nuts for our school meal programs; educating our school children about the positive, long-term health benefits of healthy eating habits; and, reconnecting our school children to the rich, deeply rooted agricultural heritage in our community.
Donors who wish to pledge ahead of the 24-hour challenge can schedule their donations starting April 15 by also going on-line to www.bigdayofgiving.org.