Great News!

Last week Sarah received word that BCS will be the recipient of a three-year grant from the Vermont Children's Trust Fund to strengthen our food program!! We are thrilled because this will allow us to really focus on making the program super sustainable over the next few years.

Meanwhile, the gardening season has begun! The preschoolers have been hard at work planting the raised beds at the school

and the BCS beds at the Archibald Neighborhood Garden are finally filled and ready!

In addition to that, we will be participating in a gleaning program at the Intervale Center for additional produce a few times a month. All in all, we should be swimming in fresh veggies all summer long!
As one preschooler exclaimed while looking over the seed packets and seedlings in the kitchen last week.. "Erinn, we're going to grow so much you won't need to buy any more food!"


Thanks for coming! I wanted to point out the Links list on the left side of the page - we have some good stuff we'd like you to know about.
First, where it reads "Donate Now"? Click there and you will find a great and easy way to donate to the BCS food program. Sarah has even set up some pre-set donation amounts with pictures and descriptions of what those dollars can fund. For example, $15 buys me a new box grater! $25 lets me upgrade to all organic fruits and veggies for a week's worth of lunches and snacks! $50 funds a BCS family dinner! And feel free to forward the site address to anyone you know who might like to help us feed kids great food!

The CACFP official site and the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger sites are next - not the flashiest stuff ever, but great information about the work that goes into running the program, and the work that's being done statewide. I highly recommend checking out the "facts and resources" section on the Vermont Campaign site for some sobering statistics served up with solid inspiration to get involved.

Grow Team ONE is the grassroots organization that supports the community garden where BCS maintains 2 plots. My family gardens there as well. Photos of our work there to come soon so keep an eye out.

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution - we love this guy because he's working on a worldwide scale to get childhood nutrition and the food we serve in schools on more people's minds, and because he's going into school cafeterias to work with the folks who actually prepare that food.

Last is a link to the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance site where you can learn much more about the Reggio philosophy of early childhood education.

Check out the What's for lunch today page on the left to find out about today's meal.
And come back soon!

a little background....

I thought you might want to read this wonderful letter to the editor of the Burlington Free Press composed by Sarah Adams-Kollitz (director of BCS and our fearless leader ) that explains a bit about what we're doing with our food program, and why it's so important. Enjoy!

November 8, 2009
United Way: Bringing partners to the table
By Sarah Adams-Kollitz
We are lucky to live in a community where access to abundant local foods is celebrated. Yet many families still struggle to keep their children well-nourished. One in 10 Vermont families with an infant reports food insecurity. United Way and a team of local partners recently piloted a program to increase participation in the federally funded Child and Adult Food Care program. The program allows child care providers to receive reimbursement for meals and snacks they serve and offers families the assurance that their children are well-fed while away from home.
The idea behind the pilot was not to reinvent the wheel, but to think creatively about how to breathe new life into an under-used federal program. By working with Child Care Resource as a sponsoring agency, child care centers were able to avoid the onerous application and receive support in meeting program requirements. True to the community's commitment to locally produced food, the pilot included weekly deliveries of farm-fresh produce, excellent gardening and food curriculum training, and the chance to work person-to-person.
As a member of the pilot, The Burlington Children's Space has been able to receive funding for our growing food program. Along the way we have learned that young children will try new foods when they are introduced by trusted adults over time. Preschoolers, who thought kale was gross, learn to like it if they can try it raw, sauteed with garlic, or baked into kale "chips." Children who resisted carrot soup are excited to pass out samples they made with the last harvest from their garden. Parents who once struggled to pack nutritious lunches with limited resources can now receive free meals and are invited to join in when visiting at meal times.
For our program, food is one of the languages with which children are welcomed to school in the morning and sent home satisfied at the end of the day. It has helped us create an atmosphere of abundance, respect and generosity.
In this case the metaphor of bringing people to the table to meet a critical need in our community has become a daily reality. Thanks to the Child Care Food Network Pilot Program, more children and their families are finding pleasure and nourishment at that table. Thanks to the United Way Community Campaign, any community member can play a role in creating a community worth passing on to our children.

Sarah Adams-Kollitz of Burlington is the director of The Burlington Children's Space, a United Way member agency.


Welcome to the Burlington Children's Space lunch lady blog. I'm so glad you're here!
My name is Erinn and I am honored to hold the position of Cook at BCS. Through the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) we provide healthy meals and snacks to the children we serve, and as Cook I get to plan, shop for and cook delicious lunches for around 35 toddlers and preschoolers every week.

The BCS staff and I decided to start this blog to share news about the food program with the kids and their families, and also to spread the word even further about our program - because we're really proud of it!

Thanks for visiting and please check in with us often - bookmark, follow us, google connect, etc...
We will be posting often with updates, recipes, and great information about our program and food resources in our community.

Take care!
The lunch lady