Rogue Valley Farm to School hosts volunteer kick off

Fresh produce from Fry Family Farms, one of the participating farms in the Rogue Valley Farm to School program, in Medford. (Jennevieve Fong / News 10)

Rogue Valley Farm to School brings locally-grown produce right to the plates of students. The organization partners with over a dozen participating farms to fit the needs of school food service staff.

Volunteers say the farms also benefit through community involvement, teaching agricultural education and increased sales.

Executive Director Sheila Carder said the best part of volunteering is the face-to-face interaction with students.

"Just being able to see the children and the way in which they enjoy having healthy food has made them feel more inspired and connected to the community," Carder said.

The organization is hosting a volunteer preview Wednesday night to preview the various opportunities from farms and gardens to school cafeterias.

"We have some volunteers that may choose to work in the kitchen, and that would be food prep and that helps expand the capacity for the school districts to be able to have scratch cooking served on their food line," Carder said. "Then there are other volunteers that are in the school cafeterias introducing the children to food, these new fresh fruits and vegetables that maybe they're not used to seeing on the lunch line."

Carder said the organization also hosts farm field trips where they take children out to local farms to teach them about how their fruits grown. The kids also get to harvest food and prepare a meal together on these field trips.

The volunteer kick-off is open to anyone wanting to learn more about their cause. The event starts at 5:30 Wednesday night at 223 5th street in Ashland.

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