By PATTY ROMINGER/Special to the Express
There is a new name and date for the Winters Farm to School annual summer fundraiser. This year a Summer Solstice Feast will be held on Saturday, June 23, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Summer Solstice Feast, as in previous years, will be held at the historic Wolfskill Ranch in Winters.
“Although the name and date have changed,” says Gloria Lopez, president of Winters Farm to School. “The event itself will be much the same. Guests will still enjoy a multi-course, locally-sourced feast accompanied by fine wines and locally-brewed beer. It’s a true celebration of our agricultural heritage since all of the food and drink served are donated by local farmers.”
Winters Farm to School, an all-volunteer non-profit, began in 2011.
“It grew out of an effort to prepare and serve healthier foods in our schools,” says Cathy Olsen, food services director for the Winters School District and a founding member of Winters Farm to School. “When I first started working in the Winters School District, my annual budget for fresh fruits and vegetables was $700 per year.
“With funds raised at our annual feast, our budget for fresh fruits and veggies is now $50-$60,000 per year. Farm to School has made a huge difference in our ability to not only serve healthier foods, but to also teach our children about where their food comes from and the positive benefits of eating healthier foods for their long-term health and well-being.”
Olsen also shared that during a recent California Department of Education Child Nutrition Program Administrative Review of the school district’s food services program, Olsen and her staff received a commendation for the work they are doing with students to get them to eat more fruits and vegetables and to try new foods.
“This achievement would not have been possible without the funds provided by Winters Farm to School,” said Olsen.
Tickets for this year’s Summer Solstice Feast are $100 per person if purchased prior to May 1, and $125 if purchased after May 1. Tickets are available at Pacific ACE Hardware in Winters or at www.wintersfarmtoschool.com. Tickets can also be reserved by calling Olsen, 795-6109.