How do you create a lasting program that is sustainable over the long-term? Add the participation of people with a vested interest in the issue!
Over the past 1o months I have contemplated again and again how best to keep the momentum from the School Food Tour moving forward. And although I loved life on the road, I can’t keep pedaling forever. So lately I have begun to explore the concept of a SFT Ambassador Program. Inquiries keep coming from folks looking to jump on board and this model seems like a perfect fit.
My vision: Each person or group would plan and conduct their own ride, long or short (perhaps without even leaving the city limits!), however they would undertake their journey with a unified goal of empowering students and communities to make healthier choices in their lives and school environments. Ambassadors would receive SFT riding shorts & jerseys, plus they could apply for grants to help finance their trips. Each SFT rider(s) would give a similarly structured presentation, with their own flair of course, and focus on outreach to schools or other youth organizations.
This plan is just in its formative stages, and hinges greatly on acquiring consistent funding, but if you have feedback or would like to put your name in as a possible SFT Ambassador, please get in touch. Stay tuned for more info!
Visit Jamie’s Food Rev page for my article covering some important lessons learned while on the road.
There are lots of exciting Food Day events happening during the week of Oct 22 in Houghton, MI!
- Oct 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Street-side cooking demo and taste tests with Portage Health’s Executive Chef Mark Pitillo
- Oct 24, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Farm expo and film showing ‘Dirty Work’ at the Portage Lake District Library
- Oct 26, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Harvest Feast – Locally sourced dinner and food drive for the Western UP Food Drive
Details are forthcoming. Stay tuned!
How much can you learn and how inspired can you become in one weekend? Apparently, quite a bit. I recently traveled to Burlington, VT as a presenter and attendee at the 2012 Farm to Cafeteria conference.
It was a fantastic event filled with workshops that ranged from procurement strategies to marketing healthy meals in the cafeteria. Regional networking sessions were extremely fruitful and influential names dotted the program. An evening reception on the picturesque, sprawling grounds of Shelburne Farms featured local products prepared by regional chefs was another highlight for many.
The most exciting moment for me was the Poster & Resource Sharing Session on Saturday evening. I felt honored to be chosen as a presenter for this event and was thrilled to share the story of the School Food Tour with so many like-minded folks.
The visual SFT story.
Two questions kept surfacing as the crowd circulated around the ballroom:
- “So what’s next?”
- “This sounds awesome! How can I do a project like this?”
These queries are the same issues that I have been pondering as I consider how to keep a sense of continuity to the SFT initiative. Perhaps I will send out a fleet of SFT riders next spring; or publish a book about my adventures and lessons learned. Either way, the overwhelmingly positive reception that the SFT received in Vermont encouraged me to continue this work and pursue new collaboration opportunities. I am already looking forward to the next adventure!
Please drop me a line if we chatted at the conference. I would love to keep in touch with all of your smiling faces!
Well, I’ll be. My name in print. This is fun! Ride Somewhere Far is a book about the Wise Routes Project. I had a fantastic opportunity to help edit and contribute some of my own writing. You can pick up a copy right here. Enjoy!