BRATTLEBORO — Food Connects welcomed Sadie Hunter to its team as the new Farm to School program manager. Hunter will lead the Farm to School team into a new phase of growth while supporting schools across Windham County. She also serves on the Food Connects Leadership Team, ensuring the sustainability the organization.
Hunter joined the team in early November, with various experiences developing engaging programs and directly teaching youth in her community back in Maryland. She has a passion for farm-based education and Farm to School work and sees the direct impact education about it on students.
“In my experience,” says Hunter, “learning about food systems is very intuitive for children, and I think that this kind of learning really empowers kids to continue asking questions and learning about the world around them.“
In her new role, Hunter will directly oversee the growth of the Farm to School program. From traditional classroom settings and afterschool programs to garden-based STEM curriculum and farming, her experiences provide her with a unique perspective that will be critical when Food Connects seeks to strengthen its community relationships.
“I would love to see our Farm to School program continue to expand — I see opportunities for us to provide support in Bennington and the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire,” says Hunter. “The more kids who get the opportunity to play in the dirt (and learn about and grow food in the process) at school, the better. I am also passionate about supporting BIPOC farmers and educators and I am really looking forward to seeing what new ways we can continue to incorporate considerations of equity and food justice into our daily work.”
Her interests aren’t limited to Farm to School work. Hunter says she is keenly aware of how important it is that all community members have access to — and the ability to participate in — local food system. “It is becoming more and more important for us to get serious about consuming locally grown, ideally in season, foods as we continue to see the impacts of climate change,” says Hunter. “It is not only better for the environment for us to eat local, but it also creates stronger local economies and allows people to be more invested in the places in which they live. Additionally, it is important to acknowledge that many people and communities are often left out of this narrative. I believe that making local food movements more financially, physically, and culturally accessible for everyone is a crucial step in addressing inequity in our food system and in our country overall.”
And the Food Connects team is grateful to have her vision and determination to create a more robust and inclusive Farm to School program. “Sadie brings a natural curiosity and thoughtfulness to her work that I appreciate very much,” says Sheila Humphreys, longtime Food Connects Farm to School coach. “She offers a fresh perspective and is both willing to take risks and lead our team in new directions while also willing to be humble and ask for help as she learns her new position. She is a wonderful addition to our team, and I am delighted to work with her.”