July 2018: CEFS’ Farm to Early Care and Education (NC Farm to ECE) Initiative is partnering with state- and local-level childcare experts to lead Farm to ECE efforts in North Carolina. The initiative is working with cross-sector stakeholder groups to develop local food procurement systems, connect resources and people across food and early childhood education systems, and provide children with experiential ways to engage with food. (This video does a great job of explaining how the initiative engages and convenes different stakeholders across the state!)

“Through this initiative we are networking early childhood and food system folks together to provide local, fresh food into centers’ meals and snacks. We are developing models and learning from them, sharing best practices for linking farmers and child care centers for the health of our kids, families, and communities,” said Caroline Stover, Program Director of the NC Farm to ECE Initiative.

Part of NC Farm to ECE’s work is to support children’s understanding of where their food comes from, including who grew it. In collaboration with early educators, the initiative created a series of eye-catching posters for young children that portray farmers and the vegetables they grow for their community – specifically highlighting women farmers and farmers of color. The posters are now hanging in childcare centers around North Carolina to serve as learning materials for our youngest eaters.

For more information about the NC Farm to Early Care and Education Initiative, please visit the CEFS website.

This article originally appeared in the July 2018 NC Growing Together Newsletter.