GardenShare's 2009 Award
GardenShare presented its seventh annual Growing Community Awards to Julie Holbrook for Keene Central School's gardening and composting project and to Cindy Harnas for South Jefferson Central School's farm-to-school project.
Each year this GardenShare award salutes organizations or individuals whose efforts strengthen food security in northern New York State.
"Both of this year’s awardees are school-based programs, which may be surprising to some because school cafeterias are often depicted as reheat-and-serve operations," said GardenShare board member Sarah Bentley-Garfinkel when presenting the awards. "But experiences with real food, from planting to eating, abound in the school programs being honored tonight."
Located in the heart of the High Peaks region, Keene Central School integrates composting and gardening with its educational curriculum to teach K-12 students about agriculture and healthy eating. Under the leadership of cafeteria manager Julie Holbrook, the school’s organic vegetable garden contributes food to cafeteria lunches. Then after each meal, students, faculty, and staff sort their tray waste for a composting operation that feeds the garden.
In Jefferson County, South Jefferson Central School brings healthy food to students and supports local farms through a project developed over the past seven years by food service director Cindy Harnas. In a typical year, Cindy now purchases over 6,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables, honey, and apple cider from seven local farms. She is also an enthusiastic advocate of farm-to-school, frequently speaking to other schools about how to bring local food into their cafeterias.