Farm to Head Start

Farm to Head Start Pilot Program Launches at Care Village 

Not always having enough to eat can impair reading, math and social skills in children. In addition, not having access to the right kinds of foods can make children more vulnerable to obesity.  This is especially true for food insecure and low-income people, which are the predominant families in the national Head Start program.  How can we give our children the best possible start?

With a generous grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) and CDI Head Start are partnering with organizations such as Eastern Market Corporation and the Greening of Detroit to launch Detroit’s first Farm to Head Start program, on the City’s eastside, at Care Village, located on Harper, near Conner.

The proFrancis 2 (1)gram will work to identify ways to engage Head Start children, families and staff through the development of an innovative curriculum and onsite gardening, as well as coordinating with Head Start purchasing to procure locally-sourced produce, so that a higher percentage of fruits and vegetables are fresh and come from the region.

One of the first activities of the program was a fall trip to Eastern Market for Head Start parents and staff. Christine Quane, Wholesale Market Coordinator at Eastern Market Corporation, offered parents a guided tour of the market, as well as a welcome bag that included “Double up Food Bucks”, which matches up to $20 dollars for shoppers who use their Bridge Card, as long as the purchase is used for Michigan grown fruits and vegetables.