The Bridgehampton School District has received an $8,000 grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which will support the school’s academic and farm to school programming, the district recently announced.
This grant follows one first received in December 2016 by Bridgehampton, along with the Southampton and Tuckahoe school districts, to bring in a farm to school coordinator. That individual helps the districts source seasonal produce from local farms, trains food service staff to work with this produce and helps bring educational programs into the schools.
Those initiatives have included the Harvest of the Month program, which promotes a different locally grown food product in school cafeterias each month. For example, according to farm to school coordinator Marissa Silverberg, those foods have included apples and Asian pears from the Milk Pail Orchard, seedless yellow watermelon from Balsam Farms, roasted shishito peppers from Open Minded Organics, kale from Satur Farms and sustainably caught local Northern Porgy and Long Island potato fish stick from Haskell’s Seafood and Shulman Produce.
Ms. Silverberg worked with Dan Pacella, food service director of the Bridgehampton School, as well as his counterparts Regan Kiembock at Southampton and Matthew Doris at Tuckahoe, to carry out the programming.
According to a news release, “Farm to School empowers children and their families to make informed food choices, it strengthens the local economy, and reduces the ecological footprint of our food systems.”