Remember February? I know, I know – the month of February is the last thing Clevelanders want to think about in summer. But I remember this past February well. And so do a bunch of local 4th graders along with their teachers. And I’m sure there’s that one lucky reader who is still grinning from ear to ear thinking about her lucky streak that month and all the good eats that came with it.
So what happened in February you ask? How quickly you forget. That’s when Cleveland Foodie readers and local chefs came together and saved the Veggie U program within Cleveland schools by raisising over $3,800. Have I mentioned that I hands-down have the best readers in town?
You now have another chance to help the greater Veggie U program which educates 4th graders on the importance of making wise food choices and understanding where their food comes from. The 2010 Food and Wine Celebration to benefit the Veggie U children’s program will take place on July 17. This annual gathering features gourmet cuisine prepared by chefs from all over the country plus wines from top vineyards, cooking demos and a silent auction.
The event takes place on the absolutely beautiful grounds of The Culinary Vegetable Institute. Demonstrations and participating chefs include Food & Wine Best New Chef Jonathon Sawyer, James Beard winner Chef Martha Foose and former Top Chef contestants, Chefs Lee Anne Wong and Dave Martin. Emceeing the benefit is TV host and award-winning chef, Bob Waggoner.
Tickets are on sale now. The great folks at Veggie U gave me two tickets to give away to one lucky reader, valued at $175 each. If you would like to be entered for a chance to win via random.org, please leave a comment to this post between now and Friday, July 2nd telling us what your favorite meal was from your childhood (mine was my gram’s spaghetti and meatballs – she made the best sauce and always made this for me whenever I was craving it, even when I’d visit during college. It always tasted the exact same – simply perfect).
Speaking of the local 4th graders we helped, Barb Jones, assistant director of Veggie U (and farmer Lee’s mom), shared the following from some participating teachers: When asked what part of the Veggie U Science program she liked best, one fourth-grade teacher said, “The abundance of materials and resources included in each unit. It was very nice to have the ability for the students to have real examples in the classroom.”
Another said, “The worm farm was a favorite part for my kids, they also loved planting and watching the plants grow”. “The kids loved trying some vegetables for the first time.”
The Veggie U program was delivered to 187 Cleveland 4th grade classrooms this spring at a cost of $200 per classroom. The folks who helped via Cleveland Foodie can feel great about helping these kids, she added.
By the way, if you do plan to attend the 8th annual Food and Wine Celebration (and I hope you do – we’ll be there!), be sure to check out the site for special rates on accommodations if you plan to stay overnight. The CVI is located in Milan, which is near Cedar Point.
Veggie U Fun Facts
- Veggie U is currently in 24 states and 1,800 classrooms
- Veggie U was born in the spring of 2003 and for the following 18 months, a group of dedicated educators and nutritionists donated their time and talents to create a curriculum which meets the benchmarks of the 4th grade national science standards set forth by the No Child Left Behind Initiative
- The mission of Veggie U is to promote the well-being of children through a healthy lifestyle
- Veggie U is dedicated to the creation and distribution of curricula nationally with a focus on making wise food choices, combating adolescent and juvenile disease and attaining and understanding of sustainable agriculture
- For every one child in the program, an estimated 12 additional people are reached with the message
- Our vision is to place the Earth to Table program in every one of the 93,000 4th grade classrooms in the nation