If I were in charge of the world, I’d do away with Halloween and Valentine’s Day celebrations in favor of Food Day in every school! World Food Day is October 16th, but in the United States, Food Day happens on October 24th. Although the Center for Science in the Public Interest launched the first Food Day in 1975, interest waned after just a few years until regaining attention in 2011. The goal Food Day remains the same: to raise awareness about the role food plays in our communities, including its impact on personal health and nutrition.
On October 24th, thousands of events are held nationally to promote food policies that make fresh food affordable for all. One way to make fruits and vegetables more accessible is to grow them in in the school garden. That’s why the theme of this year’s Food Day in Napa County is “Celebrating School Gardens.”
School gardens are as old as dirt. Well, maybe not that old, but they are as old as public education. Despite the growing body of evidence that school gardens have the power to nurture learners in a way altogether different from the walled classroom, few school gardens receive the support they deserve. Yet, many Napa educators work overtime to ensure that their students have the opportunity to plant, grow, harvest, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the dirt.
The Napa County Local Food Advisory Council is the lead sponsor for the 7th Annual Food Day in Napa, but many community partners collaborated to make the event possible, including the Napa County Farm Bureau, the UC Master Gardeners of Napa County, and the Napa Valley Unified School District. Please join us on Tuesday, October 24th from 5:30-8:00 pm in the cafeteria at Harvest Middle School (2449 Old Sonoma Rd.) for a night of food and fun. Events include: a student salsa recipe contest, raffle giveaway, food donation drop-off, educational sessions, and school garden tours. To participate in Food Day Napa, contact Erica Lee, Project Coordinator for California SNAP-Ed., and lead organizer of the event.
For more information about school gardens or local food, please visit napalocalfood.com.