October 29, 2012

Close to Home: Learning to go local

Wells-Ogunquit district applauds benefits from 'farm to school' program ... and other news from around the region.

WELLS — Wells-Ogunquit Community School District recently capped a “Farm to School Week” event to bring locally grown food to the school district’s lunch rooms to improve nutrition and create a greater appreciation for food from hometown farms.

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Wells Junior High School student volunteers and staffers pose with green beans that they picked recently at Spiller Farm in Wells. Pictured from left are Samantha Jones, Jessica Licardo, Abigail Bourque, Beth Cilluffo, Ethan Huber-Young, Mary Rand, Caden Gibson and Kerry Georgitis.

Courtesy Reg Bennetts

Over the past seven harvest seasons, the district’s nutrition services director, Tyler Goodwin, has increased the purchase of food from Wells family farm operations such as Chase Farm, Spiller Farm and Sunny Acres Farm.

This year, student and staff volunteers participated in the harvest, traveling to Spiller Farm to help gather bushels of carrots, green beans, and potatoes.

Additionally, Spiller Farm devoted space for the district to grow food, which was sold to the district at a reduced cost.

That new arrangement allows Goodwin and staff to process and freeze a much greater volume of vegetables that can be offered throughout the school year.

And, while there is more work involved and there is a price increase in buying locally, Goodwin said the trade-off to obtain fresh, locally grown food and educating students about growing and harvesting of food, the reduction of a school lunch program’s carbon footprint and support for local farms, is worth the investment.


Donations aid outreach efforts

The Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church recently received two large donations, totaling $1,000, to benefit outreach programs headed by the church.

Checks of $500 each were presented by Seacoast RV of Saco on behalf of the church's eighth annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Delivery Service and by the Auxiliary of American Legion Post 57 for the Food Pantry and Clothes Closet.

The Food Pantry and Clothes Closet serves more than 450 people per month and has been in existence through the church for more than 25 years. It serves the ongoing food needs of eligible residents of Old Orchard Beach through its partnerships with the York County Food Rescue Program and the Good Shepherd Food Bank among others.

The Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Delivery Service annually serves close to 300 meals on Thanksgiving Day throughout the Saco Bay area.

For more details, call 934-5553 or email info@oobumchurch.org.


Winners at fire prevention event

The Brunswick Fire Department held its annual Fire Prevention Week Open House recently, offering fire prevention education and children's activities for hundreds of attendees at the event.

A number of children also won prizes during the event, including: A ride on a firetruck to Chase Ross, Evan Zavitz and Charlize O'Leary; Fire Prevention Week T-shirts to Spenser Smith, Alexa Reddy, Katelynn Leask, McKenzie Neron, Noah Grondin and Sophia Morin; and plush toy Dalmations went to John Paul Poulton, Madison Neault, Gillian Countway, Jonhah Hecht, Kiara Leask and Luke Bubar.


Boy Scouts have fun, raise funds

Boy Scouts Troop 39 hosted more than 200 scouts for the weekend Casco Bay Fall Camporee at the Deering Farm recently.

Glenn Deering opened his fields to the scouts and leaders for the weekend event that featured lots of fun scouting activities and included a pumpkin carving contest that raised more than $1,300 to benefit Camp Sunshine.


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