Delta Fresh Foods pioneered Farm to School in many Delta schools. We have supported growers in Quitman, Coahoma, Bolivar, Holmes, Sunflower, Panola, and other counties to help them increase production and connect with local School Food Service Directors to market their products. Lasting partnerships have been formed and continue to blossom in the Delta…all helping to get fresh, local sweet potatoes, greens, peas and watermelon and other fresh produce into school cafeterias.
We have built nearly 30 raised bed school gardens and several high tunnels on campuses throughout the Delta to help students reconnect with “real foods”. Two talented elementary school teachers helped Delta Fresh Food develop a robust school garden centered curriculum for 5th grade math & English language arts.
Download the English Language Arts curriculum
In 2014, Dr. Deborah Moore, Brooke Smith and Judy Belue made a presentation at the National F2S conference in Austin, TX where Delta Fresh Foods helped fuel and inform an effort within the National F2S Network to ensure inclusion, equity and justice across all their programs.
Read our presentation
Dorothy Grady Scarbrough, a founding and current board member of the Delta Fresh Foods board, soon became the co-lead for the MS F2S Network. Dorothy continues her work as co-lead and has recently developed a tool kit on how to develop sustainable school gardens. She is a tireless champion and resource for F2S programs through the State.
MS Farm2School Network
Sustainable Network Development
Build regional capacity and local shared leadership for Delta Fresh Foods Initiative
Increase availability of locally grown, healthy food products for regional consumers
Educate and attract consumers for locally produced, healthy food products
Build Market Capacity
Build infrastructure and skills necessary to start and expand local and regional markets
Groups from Chapel Hill MB, Rose Chapel COGIC along with youth in the Spring after-school program had a great time learning together in the Viking Kitchen at the Coahoma County Higher Ed Center with their enthusiastic and skilled instructor, Angie Crawford, MS State Extension Service of Quitman County. Vegetables from four raised beds at the CCHEC were used in cooking classes and each participant went away with a booklet of delicious recipes for healthier menu choices. The classes are featured on NBC News in July and the video is posted on the front page of the DFFI website!An exciting addition to the cooking classes for fall and winter will feature fantastic recipes from the African Heritage diet. Delta Fresh Foods is partnering with Oldways and MS State Extension Service to explore some new twists on old customs in the “Taste of African Heritage” cookbook just released by Oldways.
A good food revolution is taking root in the Mississippi Delta! Since our first gathering in February 2010, Delta Fresh Foods member partners have continued to build a vibrant network of passionate people who are working to develop equitable community food systems all across the region. Some of our past projects are listed below.
Support Structural Change
Engage in partnerships to support policies and initiatives to promote all of the above
Awards for our community and congregational garden initiative, Growing Together, were presented at our Harvest Celebration in Clarksdale, MS. The evening featured foods from local gardens and celebrate winning church, community and school gardens from across the Delta.