Home > News > Press Releases > 2007 > SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: STUDENTS AND LOCAL RESIDENTS BENEFIT FROM FARMSTAND PROGRAM
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: STUDENTS AND LOCAL RESIDENTS BENEFIT FROM FARMSTAND PROGRAM
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(GLASSBORO) – Three times a week during the summer, several high school students walk from their homes to High Street in Glassboro for their summer jobs – selling fresh produce purchased from local farmers to their neighbors and whoever else passes by. Today, one of the students’ customers was New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus, who stopped by to see the progress of the “Seeds to Success” program, run by Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
“These teenagers are accomplishing more than simply selling produce – they are learning about agriculture and gaining business skills, they are supporting local farmers, and they are giving local residents access to delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables,” said Secretary Kuperus.
Eight students with special needs run the Glassboro farmstand on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They set up, stock, sell, clean up and tally their earnings. The Glassboro stand was purposely located near where the students who operate the market live, so they could walk to work. The stand is also within walking distance of many residents.
The Glassboro farmstand is one of three in the Seeds to Success program, a hands-on business and life skills training program. There also are stands in Woodbury and Paulsboro. Rutgers purchases the produce from six farmers. Typically, between $10,000 and $15,000 of produce is purchased.
This is the fifth year of the program, funded through a United States Department of Agriculture Children, Youth and Families at Risk grant.
The students gain valuable work experience and are taught how to put together their resumes to use their experience with the farmstand for future employment. In addition to working the stands, the students receive eight weeks of food and nutrition education during the school year, as well as four weeks of money management.
All three youth farmstands participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) & Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which makes available locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breast-feeding, or post-partum women; children two to five years old; and eligible seniors age 60 and older. Eligible participants receive four $5 vouchers valid through November 30 to purchase locally grown produce from certified farmer vendors. The stands also accept food stamps.