DCCDA earns $77,500 to continue Families, Farmers and Educators United

The new year has started off on an exciting note for the Douglas County Child Development Association’s program, Families, Farmers and Educators United (FFEU). The Farm to Child Care program has been awarded multiple grants for continuation through 2013 that will allow for greater community collaboration and targeted family outreach. FFEU has spent the past two years working with directors and staff at nine area child care centers and 25 in-home child care providers throughout Douglas County. The program's coordinators have worked with participants to build gardens for the youngest children in our community to gain hands-on experience growing their own food. Early educators have spent countless hours using the Root for Food curriculum to teach young children all about food: where it comes from, how it gets from the farm to our plates, and how to make healthy choices. Nine local farms were matched with the participating nine child care centers and dropped off over 2,000 bags of local produce to subscribing families and centers. In 2012 alone, over $32,000 was kept within our local economy and went directly back to our local farmers through this Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangement. Seven early educator trainings were conducted within 2012 that gave child care providers tools and information related to food and nutrition that they could pass along to the children in their care. Directors at the child care centers all agreed to develop or improve upon wellness policies at their centers. 18 Weekly Harvest Newsletters were sent out to families over the CSA season, which included information about seasonal produce, recipes, Local Food News, and current lessons being conducted through the Root for Food curriculum. Through the following grant awards, FFEU will be able to continue and expand upon this important work:

  • United Methodist Health Ministry Fund $30,000
  • Topeka Community Foundation $7,500
  • Kansas Health Foundation $25,000
  • Ethel and Raymond F. Rice Foundation $15,000

Thanks to this tremendous support from local and respected foundations, FFEU will be making a more concerted effort to reach as many families as possible with opportunities to engage in the local food system and provide a healthier lifestyle for their children. As community leaders recognize the importance of engaging families and children still in their formative years, and with the inspiration and hard work of the families, farmers and educators involved, FFEU is reinvigorated and sure of reaching its goals of decreasing the incidence of childhood obesity and strengthening the local food system in Douglas County.

Keeping these cuties in the garden for another year!

Keeping these cuties in the garden for another year! by Healthy Sprouts

Tagged: children, farm, early education, CSA, wellness, local food, obesity, health, childhood obesity, food


Marilyn Hull 5 years, 8 months ago

This group is onto something! I'm looking forward to future articles on developing wellness policies for early learning centers and childcare homes.

DCCDA 5 years, 8 months ago

Yes, we are looking forward to following up on the policy development. So far, we've had several centers commit to including components of the FFEU program in their parent handbooks, and two had already done so. One center has also added a policy committing to the use of a health education curriculum. We'll keep you all posted as these evolve!

Charlie Bryan 5 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations on the great work you're doing to improve the health of the next generation, their families and the providers that care for them.

Sheila Hooper White 5 years, 8 months ago

Woohoo!! So excited to get the chance to participate. Can't wait to get our garden going!!

Marilyn Hull 5 years, 8 months ago

P.S. I can't express how much I LOVE the picture! I think I'm going to post it on my bulletin board where I can look at it for inspiration when I get tired and discouraged :)

Kat Christian 5 years, 8 months ago

I just hope inside he feels as happy as he looks in that picture. He's been through a lot of uncertainty in his short life and by the looks of his future it doesn't seems much more promising, but he is a resilient little guy. Just hope whoever has him, his brothers and sister treat them well and give them the love they deserve.

Chris Tilden 5 years, 8 months ago

What a great program to help young people develop healthy habits early by getting hands on experience growing food. Congrats DCCDA for all the accolades -- and funding -- you are receiving for this great work!

And I agree with Marilyn -- what a great picture! It says it all.

DCCDA 5 years, 8 months ago

Thanks again, everyone. I know what you mean, Marilyn. I can't help but smile every time I see this guy's face! He really knew how to work the camera ;)

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 8 months ago

But who's in the picture, who took the picture, and it is from Lawrence?

DCCDA 5 years, 8 months ago

Emily Hampton, coordinator of the FFEU program, took the picture. We do not release the names of children, but yes, it is at a child care home in Lawrence.

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