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Shuswap Food Action incorporates fresh local foods in school meal program

From local farm to local plates, fresh corn and tomatoes are frozen for future lunches

A small green knoll appeared on the landscape of the Jackson campus of Salmon Arm Secondary Sept. 3, after 55 dozen ears of corn were delivered.

Shuswap Food Action Society is running the school meal program at Jackson this year, after a one-day-per-week pilot last year. The pilot was successful, said Serena Caner, society president, so the program is expanding to four days each week, Tuesday through Friday.

“One of our goals is to try to source a lot of the foods locally. Right now it’s corn season so we decided we could freeze all this food and use it for different dishes throughout the year, like chile and soup,” she said.

Flats of tomatoes also arrived, destined for the freezer.

Two chefs have been hired and volunteers will be coming in to help out in the kitchen.

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Caner expressed her appreciation for the Shuswap Community Foundation, which donated money to help buy supplies to make the kitchen usable for cooking for a large number of people.

Volunteers for the shucking extravaganza included Roxy McIlroy, Claire Askew, Alyson Stone and Claire and Serena Caner. Delivering the corn was farmer Devin Armstrong, helped out by Tasha Evanishin. Evanshin said the corn was picked at 6:30 a.m. that day.

McIlroy said she was volunteering because she would like to see fewer students eat fast food for lunch.

“Every time I drive past the school around noon hour, there’s mobs of kids going downtown to the fast-food places, and I thought, yeah, this is a way better idea. Homemade soups and stews and stuff. Get them out of the fast-food places.”

Alyson Stone said she likes to help out now that she has a little more free time. She thinks she will also help in the kitchen because she heard volunteers are needed there.

Claire Askew is on the society’s board and is excited about the lunch program.

“The lunches are going to be really healthy and made with food from local farms, so I think it’s a really positive program and I’m happy to get to help out a little bit with it.”
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Tasha Evanishin, farmer Devin Armstrong and Shuswap Food Action’s Serena Caner unload 55 dozens cobs of corn on Sept. 3 to be frozen and then used for the school lunch progam at Jackson high school. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Jackson high school in Salmon Arm will be the site of a four-day-per-week lunch program featuring local food put on by Shuswap Food Action. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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