Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS) puts into practice the idea of “Farm to School” by providing schools in the Oxford Mississippi School District with local farm produce in their cafeterias and fresh menu items. GFOS simultaneously teaches both children and their families about healthy diets by offering education programs in and outside the classroom. With GFOS, the learning extends from the classroom to the cafeteria to home.
Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Mallory Stefan, Food Corps Service Member at Good Food for Oxford Schools.
Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?
Mallory Stefan (MS): Good Food for Oxford Schools works in the classroom, cafeteria, and community to provide students with garden and nutrition education; lunch menus that offer healthy, local food; and events that engage community members in healthful living.
FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?
MS: Where do we start? We’re proud that we have salad bars for our 1st-12th graders, four school gardens, and entire district of students eating healthy, local food in the cafeterias. In particular, in April 2015, we hosted the 3rd Annual Gospel Showcase: a family friendly event that featured local gospel choir performances, an Iron Chef-style competition among student-parent teams, and a farmers’ market.
FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?
MS: We have big dreams for 2015. We plan to expand our gardening program by building school gardens at each school in the district and encouraging program sustainability by fully integrating garden education into the curriculum.
FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?
MS: No farms, no food—we encourage eaters and consumers to support small, local farmers by shopping at farmers’ markets and other outlets for local food.
FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?
MS: Volunteer with us! We love to have assistance in the garden and in the classroom. Contact Sunny Young for volunteering opportunities. Not located in Oxford, Mississippi? Consider donating; the link is on our website!
Download the 2014 Good Food Org Guide HERE.
Submit your suggestions for the 2015 guide HERE.