DOVER – The sign-up for the second session of Seacoast Eat Local’s crEATe program kicked off recently and received 86 sign-ups (out of 100) in only two hours, according to a Seacoast Eat Local press release. The response is testimony to how well the first session went — with nearly 100 families participating in the pilot program. The second session begins Thursday, April 21.
Launched in January 2022, the program is a partnership between Seacoast Eat Local, Red’s Good Vibes, and the Mary C. Dondero Elementary School in Portsmouth. The program’s goal is simple: support families to crEATe nutritious meals together while supporting local farmers and food producers in the process.
Like the first session, the second session will include six drop-offs. At each distribution, students receive a tote bag that includes two recipes and corresponding ingredients for a family of four––eight meals in total. The first week, participants in the program also receive a pantry staples bag. The ingredients and recipes are curated to include as many local, seasonal foods as possible.
The program’s goals are to: inspire families to cook together; increase awareness of healthy local food options; build a sense of community and togetherness among children; and attract a wider and more consistent customer base for local farms. The results of the program have gone further, according to the release, with teachers reporting student engagement that they haven’t seen since before the pandemic.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Thomas W. Haas Fund. The Charitable Foundation’s contributions will enable us to purchase over $40,000 of food directly from local farmers and food producers over the course of 2022. Additional in-kind food donations have been made by Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s and Market Basket.
During childhood, it is essential to have access to nutritious foods. This program creates an opportunity for children to make choices regarding their nutritional needs while also strengthening the bonds between school, students, and families through positive shared experiences with local and nutritious food.
For more information, visit seacoasteatlocal.org.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Seacoast Eat Local’s crEATe program brings families together tp cook