Free food and hands-on activities sound like a lot of fun... and they are. But the Harvest Festival at Hamlin Park Academy also teaches kids about the local food economy and supporting minority farmers.
"You don't have enough education on nutrition in our community and that's something important because it will lead our children to have a better future," said Miguel Sepulveda, a Buffalo parent.
The Good Food Buffalo Coalition and Strong Community Schools came together Saturday to host the Harvest Festival. The event teaches kids and parents about the Buffalo Farm to School Initiative and the Good Food Purchasing program.
"This is important because there is the opportunity to build up our local food system here in Buffalo and building wealth for our local farmers and ensuring that all people have an opportunity within the food system to feed our children healthy, nutritious food," explained Rebekah Williams of the Good Food Buffalo Coalition.
The initiative works with schools to build connections with healthy food and local producers. While the Good Food Purchasing program is a national movement that encourages public school districts to have policies which encourage environmental sustainability and support their local economies— like working with minority-owned businesses and local farms.
"Our farmers are our community members and so they need our support. It's important for us to go and purchase food from them," said Briana Alfaro, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Outreach Coordinator.
Nearly 100 bags of fresh produce from local farm Urban Fruits and Veggies were handed out at the Festival to encourage healthy, local eating.