Put the FUN back in Fundraising! Good Foods for Oxford Schools Benefit

The school staff, the awesome kids and innovative cafeteria staff, along with the greater community celebrated “Good Foods for Oxford Schools” with a phenomenal Gospel Choir Showcase and Iron Chef Competition on April 26 on the square in Oxford, MS. This fun, family event benefited the ongoing work of Good Foods for Oxford Schools and will assist the Oxford High School's new farm to school efforts.  The Oxford High School students have started a “Food Club” to drive menu changes at their school, and three student leaders have taken on the role of guiding the group.

This summer two of the Food Club leaders, Reed Ashton Kevin and Precious McGee, will head to Los Angeles, CA to participate in the annual Rooted In Community summit – led by teens from across the United States. The summit will arm OHS Food Club leaders with the tools needed to get their club off to a great start. Each year, the Rooted in Community group creates a Youth Food Bill of Rights declaring their right to healthy, delicious, and sustainably produced foods (see the full bill here) and the teen-led conference brings together minds from across the US, New York to San Francisco. The OHS Food Club will be the first to attend from the state of Mississippi. Kevin and McGee submitted essay applications and participated in interviews by OHS’s Health Council (made up of the school nurse, school teachers, parents, and students) to ultimately win spots on the trip. The young women are excited for the opportunity, and look forward to bringing back what they learn to their high school peers.

Hosted by local celebrity personality, JoVan Reed, the gospel choirs performing included, Spirit of Excellence, Favored, Soul Consulators, Chosen, and the Ole Miss Gospel Choir.

 Program Director for "Good food for Oxford Schools" and our own NFSN State Co-Lead, Sunny Young coordinated with the school and city officials to host this big event.  Good Food for Oxford Schools is an initiative of the Oxford School District to improve cafeteria meals, implement a farm-to-school practice, and simultaneously educate district students on the importance of a healthy diet full of local foods. Currently in “planning phase” the project has already launched activities at Oxford Elementary and Oxford High School.

Sunny Young (pictured on Left) is the MS State Co-lead for the National Farm to School Network.

Sunny Young (pictured on Left) is the MS State Co-lead for the National Farm to School Network.

Iron Chef winner Samaria (one of the local star students featured in Sunny Young’s @tedxmanhattan talk!) immediately went around and shook hands with all the other teams. Her salmon wrap with herbs from the Boys and Girls Club garden rocked! Now- it is on to the White House for the big competition!

Samaria wins the Iron Chef contest!

We'll update you when the OHS Food Club leaders, Reed Ashton Kevin and Precious McGee, return from Los Angeles, CA later this summer.   Be sure to visit oxfordsd.org/GFOS and donate what you can to keep this project going!

Pam Kingfisher