School-Based Kids' Farmers Markets (2018-2019)
Sea View Elementary School, located in Salton City, has a 96.8% student eligibility for Free/Reduced-Price Meals, indicating high levels of childhood poverty in this remote area.
Kids' Farmers Markets address two critical outcomes that impact low-income children: health/nutrition and leadership skills that foster compassion, build self-esteem, and empower disadvantaged youth through hands-on civic engagement.
After FIND arrives on campus, teams of 4th – 6th graders, who are given tasks to complete, help our team set up the distribution area. Student leaders then assist by:
- Checking each of the classrooms to make sure everyone is ready when their room is called
- Setting up/taking down the Farmers Market
- Helping younger children with market selections as they walk through the row of tables, all before the older students "shop"
FIND's Kids' Farmers Markets:
- Increase food-insecure children's access to a variety of familiar and unfamiliar fresh produce by offering 8–12 lbs. of food assistance at each mini farmers market
- Offer approx. 500 children the experience of "shopping" for healthy food items to impact our next generation of consumers, and empower them to help their family and contribute to their household
- Support 25 - 30 student leaders to gain valuable, lifelong skills through organizing/operating a monthly farmers market at their school, assisting younger students with produce selection, and training/mentoring their peers
Kids' Summer Feeding Program (2016-2017, 2015-2016, 2014-2015)
"The smiling faces of the children that I and my co-workers saw on a daily basis gave us a really amazing experience. The thank-yous and all that come along with just providing something as simple as a bottle of water, that others might take for granted, was truly rewarding in itself." – Teacher on FIND's 2015 Kids' Summer Feeding Program Support Staff
FIND's Thousand Palms' Kids' Summer Club program will provide supplemental food/nutrition to hundreds of low-income children in Thousand Palms this summer, while helping us advance toward our long-term goal of creating more sustainable Summer Food Service Programming across our three Coachella Valley school districts to help close the nutrition gap that occurs every summer when children are away from school and the Free/Reduced-Price Meals on which they rely.
FIND Food Bank and a growing list of partners have been collaborating each summer to increase access to supplemental, kid-friendly nutrition assistance for students across our three area school districts, coordinating and supporting multiple approaches to reach students participating in school- and/or community-based summer programs, as well as those who don't have such access to such programs due to transportation barriers or because they are home taking care of other children/family members.
FIND's Kids' Summer Feeding Program:
- Partners with school district to pilot a mobile meal route in Thousand Palms, where no other summer-meal programs are available and where the need is great
- Partners with Boys & Girls Clubs/YMCAs to provide fresh produce (mini farmers markets) and other healthy snacks
- Sends additional poundage of healthy, kid-friendly food assistance for distribution through our identified agency partners that primarily serve families with school-age children home for summer vacation
- Partners with school districts to increase access to summer-meal programming overall
FIND Food Bank will use Anderson Children's Foundation funding primarily to support our Mini Farmer's Market partnership with our Boys & Girls / YMCA sites offering summer programming. This has been a wonderfully successful partnership, growing year over year, offering not only a source of healthy, daily snacks for BGC/YMCA sites, but also offering several pounds of fresh produce to send home with program participants to share with their families, including siblings who are too young, too old, too busy (or too cool!) to participate in a summer program. Doing so offers these primarily low-income families another source of supplemental nutrition assistance at a time when they often need it most. Securing, processing, and transporting the large quantities of produce (including items such as stone fruits and kiwi that aren't grown locally) that are critical to this successful program cost tens of thousands of dollars that we secure from multiple sources.