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October is National Farm to School Month!

AmeriCorps VISTA Kelley Villa discusses the excellent work she is doing with Yavapai County Community Health Services to provide greater access to nutritious food in Yavapai County. 

I am serving as a VISTA at Yavapai County Community Health Services in Prescott, Arizona. My projects focus on increasing access to nutritious foods for low-income residents of Yavapai County. All people deserve access to nutritious and affordable food to feed themselves and their families – in schools, gardens, grocery stores, worksites, community centers, and more.

One project that I have been really excited about lately is Yavapai Seasonal Harvest (YSH). YSH is a collaborative partnership that aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, promote food literacy, and support local agriculture. We envision a Yavapai County with healthy people and a vibrant food system.

Some ways that we work toward this vision are:

o   facilitating school-wide taste tests of locally-grown vegetables

o   supporting school garden work – including the construction of raised beds

o   creating and distributing community newsletters on the featured vegetable of the season

The key partners are: Yavapai County Community Health Services, Prescott Farmers Market, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, FoodCorps Arizona and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Our lovely staff during the spinach taste test at Mile High Middle School, left to right: Sam Turner, Katie McDaniel, Brad Goss, Kelley Villa, Elena Greenberg, Kathleen Yetman, and Sharmel Jordan.

Our lovely staff during the spinach taste test at Mile High Middle School, left to right: Sam Turner, Katie McDaniel, Brad Goss, Kelley Villa, Elena Greenberg, Kathleen Yetman, and Sharmel Jordan.

My involvement with this project mostly focuses on developing outreach strategies:

o   designing the YSH logo

o   creating the YSH website: YavapaiSeasonalHarvest.org

o   building a blog content management system

o   creating and moderating the YSH Facebook page


I also get to help out with taste tests at local schools – it’s so fun offering students the choice to try a vegetable in exchange for a cool sticker. They get to vote on their opinion on the vegetable, too. It’s great to help kids try new things and share their voices.

For more information about farm to school activities in Yavapai County, please visit YavapaiSeasonalHarvest.org

Published on October 26, 2015 by Spencer Brown.

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