Farm to Belly is a 28-week fresh-produce program at SHARE Head Start Centers in Greenville, SC. Head Start Centers are federally-funded preschools for low-income children ages 3-5. Farm to Belly is a multifaceted program emphasizing moving and learning, growing, cooking and sharing food. The program focuses on four key areas:
1) in the home – the project supplies children with fresh fruits and vegetables in culturally diverse, nutritionist-designed, child-focused recipe kits at no cost, intended to encourage family food preparation at home
2) at the market –a produce “market” with a variety of fruits and vegetables reflecting the recipe kits’ contents is set up at the child center for children and their caregivers to “purchase” at no cost with program tokens
3) in the classroom – teachers have been trained to use the Choosy curriculum and to facilitate Choosy music and movement activities in the classroom every day and trainers facilitate workshops and cooking demonstrations at the monthly parent meetings
4) in the garden – children help plant and manage raised bed vegetable gardens and engage in a variety of garden activities. Farm to Belly recently received top honors at the 2018 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence.