Essex Tech Partners with New Entry to Receive Fresh, Local Produce for Cafeteria
DANVERS — Superintendent Heidi Riccio is pleased to share that Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School attended a tour of the New Entry site at Moraine Farm yesterday.
Essex Tech began purchasing fresh, locally grown produce from the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project for its cafeteria this school year, and is also exploring opportunities to collaborate and partner with the organization to provide educational opportunities to student and adult learners.
New Entry is an initiative of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy which works to strengthen local food systems by providing workshops and training, support and three year leases for “incubator farm” land plots to farmers just starting out in their careers.
“Partnering with New Entry allows us to support local farmers while providing our students with fresh, nutritious, locally grown produce,” Superintendent Riccio said. “Their work is very closely aligned with the mission of our school: to train the next generation of workers to take the helm of their industries and contribute positively to their communities.”
“It’s a great opportunity to collaborate,” New Entry Director Jennifer Hashley said. “I think this partnership is going to continue and grow. One of our goals is to grow the pipeline of future farmers, and that’s our target audience. A whole school of people potentially excited about farming is huge for us.”
An Essex Tech alumna, Emily Brown is currently one of 11 new farmers leasing land from New Entry. Brown is a flower farmer.
The tour at Moraine Farm on Cabot Street in Beverly Tuesday was organized by New Entry and Massachusetts Farm to School, an organization that works to support local farms and fisheries and foster healthy communities by increasing local food purchasing and education at schools. Each year, Massachusetts Farm to School organizes events to recognize the annual Farm to School month, but as a result of the ongoing pandemic is holding virtual events and a limited number of small, in-person tours this October.
Following advocacy efforts in 2016, Governor Charlie Baker established October as Farm to School Month in Massachusetts. Farm to School Month is a time for communities to come together to discuss the farm to school movement, advocate for farm to school policies at the federal and local levels, thank the food service staff, farmers, producers, educators, and community partners who make farm to school happen, and celebrate our Farm to School community.
At Tuesday’s event, New Entry staff lead Massachusetts Farm to School representatives, Essex Tech administration and staff, Salem Public Schools representatives, local legislators and other stakeholders on a tour of their grounds and provided insight into their work with local farmers. New Entry also works with Salem Public Schools to provide fresh produce.
Local and regional legislators that attended the event included Sen. Joan Lovely, and Rep. Paul Tucker.