Maddie Morales is the Outreach Coordinator for The Common Market and procurement specialist for DC Greens’ School Garden Market program. In her role, she partners with sustainable farmers across the Mid-Atlantic and supplies school garden markets with fresh produce. This month we asked her, “When was your Farm to School ‘aha’ moment?” Here’s her reply:
While I was working for FoodCorps, I had the opportunity to work directly in schools with students of all ages to improve the culture of health through food. We cooked, tasted and tried new things in the classroom, garden and cafeteria. The more we engaged with new foods, the more student excitement grew to keep trying new things! I quickly learned that my students were curious, open and excited about foods they had never tasted before. From hummus and green smoothies, to raw lunchbox peppers and sungold tomatoes, the students were excited about trying the things they grew and made. Many students wanted to share this excitement with their families and bring recipes home to make again.
However, I soon realized that finding the fresh, tasty vegetables, like the ones growing in our school garden was much more difficult in our surrounding community. Eating local food was a novelty and only available to certain parts of the community I was a part of. This “aha” moment, led me to my work with The Common Market.
At the Common Market, we believe that fresh, local, delicious food should be readily available to all people, regardless of zip code. We work with institutions like public schools, universities, hospitals, restaurants and retailers to get more local on their menu and help make the local choice the easy choice for everyone.
I am so excited to be able to supply DC Greens’ School Garden Markets with fresh produce from our sustainable farm partners across the Mid-Atlantic so that students and their families across DC can continue to cook and eat delicious, fresh meals together.