We have two programs under way for k-5.

The first is foundational for all other programs: We established and maintained edible gardens at each of the 4 elementary school campuses, then fund-raised and situated edible gardens educators at each of the schools as well. After about a decade of support, the schools took on the project and the funding.

The second project is Garden State on Your Plate, a farm to school project, that brings fresh produce and products grown by local farmers into school cafeterias at lunchtime, where local chefs prepare simple recipes for tastings and for nutrition education.

The project began with a $30,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the 2010-11 school year. Subsequently, under the direction of Fran McManus, coordinator, co-founder of PSGC and a board member, we adapted the program to suit a more hands-on approach for K-5 at-risk students attending the YMCA-based Princeton Young Achievers program. Since then, the program has continued to grow and thrive, with funding from the Community and Regional Affairs department at Princeton University, McCaffrey’s Markets and Hearthland Payment Systems.

After the pilot, Fran McManus took on the program administration. Garden State on Your Plate now enjoys wide and deep support throughout the community and soon will be expanded to JW Middle School. Partners beyond Princeton Public Schools include, but aren’t limited to, the Arts Council of Princeton, Becky Graham, bent spoon artisan ice cream, C. Todd Reichart, Cherry Grove Farm, Gennaro Porcaro, Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate, greendesign, jammin’ crepes, JaZams, Jennifer Cohan/Savory PR, Jess Atkins/Stylebook App, Labyrinth Books, McCaffrey’s Food Markets, Nassau Inn, Nassau Street Seafood, Nutri-Serve Food Management, Olsson’s Fine Foods, Palmer Square, Princeton Day School, Princeton Family YMCA, Princeton Farmers’ Market, Princeton Soup & Sandwich, Princeton Tour Company, Savory Spice, small world coffee, The Costume Scene, Whole Earth Center and YourTownTube.

We are slowly transferring the The Garden State on Your Plate program to the schools. NutriServe has taken on the preparation of the dishes and is now supplying the recipe, rather than a different chef and/or farmer each time. Each school now takes ownership of a vegetable and produces a short video about it.