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Farmers and School Food Services Workshop offered Jan. 30

farm to school

Farmers and school food services can find out how to help schools purchase more locally grown foods at a Walla Walla Valley Farm to School workshop. WWVFS is a program of the Sustainable Living Center.

It will be from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Walla Walla Public School Transportation Building, 1162 Entley St. Those interested in participating as a farmer or an institutional food buyer, should contact Beth Thiel at farmtoschool@slcww.org.

The workshop will explore interests that exist to purchase locally grown products, explain local and federal procurement standards that control most K-12 schools’ food purchases, connect local farmers and school buyers, share past and current successes and challenges and establish next steps to increasing local foods in area school cafeterias, according to a release.

Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School lead Chris Iberle will present information about the school procurement process including forecasting and planning for local purchases, developing specifications and establishing methods for communicating future solicitations. He’ll cover tips for local producers and schools in creating sustained relationships to support annual purchasing.

Local schools and farmers will have the opportunity to share information specific to their operation. Schools may provide information about their current meals served, kitchen facilities, vendor requirements and potential desired amounts of local products. Farmers can provide information about their business and suggest products that might not be on the schools’ lists.

While the meeting is focused on K-12 schools, other institutions are encouraged to join the workshop for networking between local farmers and local buyers.

For more information about Sustainable Living Center and the Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Program, see slcww.org or call 509-524-5218.

M-F Rotary elects new officers

Milton-Freewater Rotary Club 294 members at their annual meeting elected officers who will serve from July 1-June 30, 2021.

With gavel in hand, President Molly Tucker Hasenbank will serve alongside Dan Lonai, past president; Cindy Timmons, president-elect; and Linda Hall, secretary. Jason Zerba remains treasurer. Elected to join carryover board members are Ben Winters, John Thunell, David Shannon and April Martinez.

The group is taking up a multiyear project such as Emma’s Place Playground, next to the Milton-Freewater Community Building, which was completed in a two-plus year time frame. Their new project will be a splash pad for children at Freewater Park, which will provide a separate summer water facility away from the congestion at the Yantis Park swimming pool, according to a release.

The city gave approval recently and will participate along with other donors to complete the project, which will cost many thousands of dollars and take a couple of years to complete, according to the release. Also in the works is the club sponsorship of Base of the Blues Bash.

With a Roaring ‘20s theme, the eighth annual Bash will be May 16 at the Milton-Freewater Community Building.

This is Rotary’s chief money raiser and is supported by donations by businesses, friends and members.

Good food, a live and silent auction, dancing and listening to the Mill Creek Jazz Ensemble are planned.

The club again gave scholarships worth $14,000 to McLoughlin High School graduates from money raised at the Base of the Blues Bash and Rotary’s Ross Lee fund. Proceeds raised in past years have been used for local youth and community needs. This year’s money will go toward the splash pad project.

Rotary looks forward to receiving support for its project from the city, among other donors within the broader community, according to a release.

The club’s youth exchange program sent one student from Mac-Hi abroad and hosted one student from another country.

Next year the club will sponsor an additional student from Weston McEwen High School in Athena.

Milton-Freewater Rotary meets from 11:45-1 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Milton-Freewater Community Building, 109 N.E. Fifth St. For more information contact President Molly at 541-938-3377 or molly@mgtlegal.com or see mfrotary.org.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,