Congresswoman Chellie Pingree talks to South Berwick elementary students about healthy eating | Community Spirit

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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree talks to South Berwick elementary students about healthy eating
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree talks to South Berwick elementary students about healthy eating

Speaks at ribbon-cutting ceremony for school’s new outdoor classroom and greenhouse
 
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree helped students at South Berwick Central Elementary School officially open their new outdoor classroom and greenhouse at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.
 
“Maine schools are really making headway on the age-old question of how we get our kids to eat their vegetables.  They’ve found that if students get their hands dirty growing vegetables, they’re much more likely to eat them,” said Pingree.  “It’s very exciting to see these kids so engaged while they’re learning about habits that are healthy for them and their community.  This is such a great project and it’s wonderful to see all the community support behind it.”
 
Students led Pingree on a tour of the new outdoor classroom and greenhouse—which they’ve named the Fresh Food Express—before a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  She also talked to community leaders about the project.
 
Last year, local chef and author Kathy Gunst attended a White House reception to kick off First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, where she encouraged chefs across the country to help battle childhood obesity.  Since then, Gunst has “adopted” the school and helped spearhead the project to build the outdoor classroom. (You can read her blog about the project at http://goo.gl/iGbtw.)
 
With the help and support of many community members and groups, the South Berwick Central School built the new facilities to help students become more active and eat healthier.  Students were heavily engaged in the project, participating in a contest to name the greenhouse, coming up with healthy recipes with Gunst, and raising seedlings for the garden. (You can read a blog the school writes about the project at http://goo.gl/5Zf98.)
 
Pingree has been a committed advocate to helping schools offer healthier, locally produced foods to students.  She recently reintroduced legislation that would allow schools to use a share of the funds they receive for commodities from the USDA to buy local food.
 
Pingree is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and is a member of the subcommittee that oversees organic programs.  She also operates an organic farm on the island of North Haven.

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