- Author: Julie Cates
This particular journey started in the state of Washington, but let us begin our unique travel tale in the middle! FoodLink Tulare County is an organization that collects and distributes food to those in need. FoodLink has developed many partnerships, including one with a company called “Happy Apples” in Orosi. This generous corporation produces scrumptious caramel apples for the fall season. But only perfect-sized apples will work. The people at Happy Apples know that these perhaps “unhappy” apples are delicious and nutritious and should be eaten by someone. They donate the imperfect-sized apples to FoodLink. FoodLink then partners with the UC Cooperative Extension Nutrition Education Program to provide nutrition education at FoodLink distributions.
Roosevelt Elementary in Tulare is the grateful recipient of one of these distributions. It is referred to as a “Farmers Market,” in which the children in kindergarten through fourth grade select free fruits and vegetables to enjoy at home. The transportation costs are funded through a grant from Kraft Foods. The UC Cooperative Extension Nutrition Education Program visits classrooms providing “taste tests” of the fruit or vegetables the children will be receiving along with healthy recipes. The “unhappy” apples are now happily enjoyed by over 600 students!
The apples had one more stop on their journey. At the Roosevelt farmers market I set aside a bag of apples for a project at Lincoln Elementary School. Ms. Davolos used the apples for a curriculum integrated lesson in her sixth-grade class. The students practiced their knowledge of the food chain and established writing prompts for future projects. The sixth-graders enjoyed a taste test of a “Harvest of the Month” Tuna Apple Salad recipe. These happy apples were enjoyed by 33 students and, recipes in-hand, countless more families!
Happy apple trails to you!