“I know that this is soon, but can you deliver the carrots two weeks early? Our in-person kindergarten through second graders have to switch back to virtual learning, and our last day together is Friday.”
As the COVID-19 virus surged in New Mexico, one teacher at Mountain Mahogany Community School still wanted her students to be able to participate in AFSC New Mexico’s Great Carrot Crunch Campaign. Thanks to Chris Chavez of Casa Fresco Farms, we got organic local carrots into the hands of 5-to-8-year-olds before they went home. The second-grade class used the Crunch to kick off their virtual unit on seeds, which including planting carrot seeds.
photo: Angelina Lopez-Brody
Meanwhile, eight Head Starts and preschools serving nearly 300 low-income 3-and-4-year-olds signed up for our regularly scheduled Great Carrot Crunch. During the week of the Crunch, these preschoolers got to munch on local organic “Bugs Bunny” carrots with the greens while learning about healthy eating and the letter “C.” We rewarded every child who tried a carrot with a sticker.
Head Starts are required to do a monthly nutrition activity with their students, and AFSC’s innovative Healthy Eating Campaigns provide local, organic produce for free to each site along with an Activity Guide. In addition to supporting the Head Starts, our campaigns provide another market for local family farms trying to survive the economic downturn.
We believe all people, regardless of income, should have access to healthy food. And AFSC continues to focus on supporting our small-scale sustainable farms during this pandemic. We hope these practices can become a model for how we can shift systems in the face of increasing climate change.
It’s a win-win when we can support young children and sustainable agriculture – two important “seeds” to nourish in order to grow a bright future for New Mexico.