HPS Hosts USDA Under Secretary for Farm-to-School Discussion

HPS Hosts USDA Under Secretary for Farm-to-School Discussion

From left to right: Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, USDA Under Secretary Jennifer Moffitt, CT Commissioner of Agriculture Bryan Hurlburt

USDA Under Secretary Jennifer Moffitt, CT Commissioner of Agriculture Bryan Hurlburt, and Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz joined Hartford Public School leaders for a roundtable discussion at Hartford Public High School Wednesday. The discussion focused on the CT Grown for CT Kids program, which educates students about the connection between healthy eating and local farming, while also providing them with support to implement farm-to-school programs.

Dr. Joanna Ali, Director of STEM, and Yolanda Burt, Senior Director of Food Service and Child Nutrition

“Farm to School programming allows students to gain access to healthy, local foods, and provides so many new opportunities for producers, our state’s children and educators, and our greater Connecticut community,” said Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz.

Dr. Joanna Ali, Director of STEM, and Yolanda Burt, Senior Director of Food Service and Child Nutrition, also provided an update on the CT Grown for CT Kids grant that was awarded to HPHS earlier this year. The grant funds the construction of a hydroponic greenhouse, which will provide hands-on lessons for students in STEM courses and the Engineering and Green Technology Pathway. Dr. Ali said the project will help students overcome many of the socio-economic barriers to healthy eating.

Gifts made by HPHS students

“This grant is a pact that we will deliver on our commitment to disrupt inequitable food supply practices, enact social change, and give our students the very best in the cafeteria and classroom,” she said.

HPS Board of Education Second Vice Chair Kim Oliver also attended the discussion, representing the City of Hartford as the Director of the Department of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation.

Before leaving, Under Secretary Moffitt received a gift bag filled with hand-written notes from students and 3D printed owls made from HPHS 3D printers.