By, Food Bank of Northeast Georgia service member, Susie Burton
I’m blessed to have a childhood friend who offers thoughtful, comforting words in times of grief or fear. Last month, she wrote to remind me how much good there will always be to live and work and fight for.
My students and my community–a community of brown, black, and white folks; a community of native Georgians and of immigrants; a community of people of various faith backgrounds and gender identities–affirm her words. They are the good I will continue to live and serve and fight for. Here are five reminders of the good in Habersham County and in Georgia and in our country, culled from my past month of service:
- Fifth graders at Cornelia Elementary visited Amanda’s Farm to Fork in Lula, Ga. They learned about poultry and egg production, foraging, the critical importance of honeybees as pollinators, cheese-making, and sustainable ways of living.
- Over 900 students at Cornelia Elementary and Level Grove Elementary taste-tested broccoli grown in Barwick, Ga. Pre-K through fifth grade students modeled adventurous eating and a “try things” attitude, while parent and community volunteers supported our Farm to School program in a big way, by handing out samples and facilitating voting for over three hours. Of course, the cafeteria staffs at CES and LGES made it all possible by ordering, processing, and preparing the broccoli.
- Fourth graders at Level Grove Elementary flexed their writing, note-taking, and listening skills to answer the question “Why Buy Local?” They grasped complex connections between food miles, nutritional content, flavor, heirloom varieties, global climate change, social capital, and supply and demand.
- Kindergarteners at Level Grove Elementary made smoothies with apple, banana, strawberry, and kale. The kale and strawberries came from our school garden (woo!), and we used the blender and other materials from our brand-new mobile cooking cart (woo x 2!) to prepare the smoothies. Memorable quotes include, “It looks like barf, but it tastes so good!” and, “I’m going to be as strong as Popeye!”
- Finally, I’m reminded of all the good to serve for every time I’m blessed to eat fresh, Georgia-grown food (exemplified here by pecans from Amanda’s Farm to Fork), with students, colleagues, and friends. We in the Georgia Organics community already know food’s power to comfort, inspire, excite, and unite; in the face of disquiet and uncertainty, reminders of that power are everywhere.