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Fayetteville Head Start Children Learn How to Grow, Prepare Food from Garden

Feed Fayetteville program teaching them valuable lessons.
Many don't know where our food comes from. Some three and four-year-old's at Head Start preschools in Fayetteville are learning at a very early age how food gets to our tables.

"Actually get to have hands on experience of harvesting and preparing their own food," says Adrienne Shaunfield, Community Food Systems Coordinator for Feed Fayetteville.

Head Start is a preschool program for children whose families fall under the poverty guidelines. Feed Fayetteville teamed up to build a garden for them last month to introduce them to a new way of getting food.

"When kids take ownership of their food choices, they're more likely to be excited about it and also to want to try new things," Shaunfield says. 

Learning to grow their own food is not just cost effective, but studies have shown that the more time kids spend in a garden, the more vegetables kids will eat.

"It's not just mom or dad is making me eat it, but I want to eat it because I helped grow it. If a child pulls a carrot out of the dirt they're more likely to eat it than if you serve one to them on a plate," Shaunfield explains.

Shaunfield said what kids learn in the garden they're likely to bring back home to their parents.

"I think that children really do influence their parents choices at the grocery store. I know mine do anyway," she says.

Feed Fayetteville also has a farmer's market style program for families called SNAP Garden. It allows families to use food stamps to buy fresh, local produce. Shaunfield said a key element to the program however, is starting them young.

"I think it's really important to start healthy eating habits at an early age, and by building the garden here at Head Start we've created an environment that is a learning space for the kids," says Shaunfield.

Feed Fayetteville is having a food drive throughout October called Protein, Produce and Pennies to help support local families in need. Click here for more information on the programs.

Click here to watch this report.
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