Erin Maidlow carried boxes of cucumbers, onions, squash and radishes over to a foldable table Thursday morning in front of Fremont Middle School in Roseburg.
Maidlow is the nutrition educator at the Douglas County Oregon State University Extension Service and has been in front of the middle school every Thursday morning for the past six weeks as part of the Farm, Food, and Fun Camp.
Each family received a bag with the recipe, macaroni, pre-made salad dressing, and they also got to pick out their own vegetables, grown in the Phoenix Charter School garden.
“Everything was grown locally,” Maidlow said. “The school has been donating about 200 pounds of vegetables a week to food banks, but they wanted to make sure families with kids in schools get these veggies.
The school’s garden is used each summer to help feed children who attend summer camps at the school, with the help of a Farm 2 Schools grant. Due to COVID-19 those camps were canceled or moved online.
Farm, Food, and Fun Camp distributed kits to students every Thursday from July 9 to Aug. 13. The kits were designed for third through fifth graders and contained recipes, newsletters, activities, supplies and for the last week vegetables donated by Phoenix Charter School and Blue Zones Project — Umpqua.
Maidlow said about 35 families picked up kits each week. For people who were unable to participate in the camp, many of the recipes can be found online at foodhero.org.
On Thursday, Kaitlyn Bogardus and her daughter Brooklyn picked up a kit. Brooklyn Bogardus is a student at Melrose Elementary School and said she enjoys spending time in the kitchen, especially baking cupcakes.
Roseburg High School student Katie Dammann and Fremont Middle School student Hannah Dammann have been growing their own vegetables and were hoping to sell their produce at the Champion Club Farms Pickup and Delivery spot in the parking lot of the Methodist Church next to the school. Several local farmers come together to sell their produce and flower arrangements in the church parking lot each Thursday morning.