BRATTLEBORO — Food Connects announced that Michelle Pinter-Petrillo has joined its team as the new Farm to School coordinator. Michelle is the third Farm to School team member and will support Farm to School teams in the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union, Windham Central Supervisory Union, and Springfield School District.
Michelle, a native of Springfield, Vt., comes to Food Connects with a variety of experience in teaching and getting people excited about cooking food. Michelle has worked in a wide range of schools — both in rural and urban school districts. Most recently, she designed and taught garden, nutrition, and food justice education in public schools in Oakland, Calif. She also served as a private chef, culinary school instructor, and teaches online under her brand, That Vegetable Lady.
"I am really excited about the opportunity to serve as part of a network to support schools, farmers, and local organizations working in communities around this region," said Pinter-Petrillo. "Teaching our students about the people who grow, prepare, and serve the food on their plate not only impacts their lifelong health but also their potential to continue the tradition of farming and food production in our area."
The Farm to School team is particularly excited about Michelle's varied experiences and perspective. Michelle is eager to push the team to think about how the topic of food can be used to teach anti-racism, body positivity, team building, and connect youth with community
"Michelle comes to the team with a strong skill set and new experiences," says Conor Floyd, Food Connects Farm to School program manager. "From her time with Food Corps and working as a nutrition consultant, she has the knowledge and resources to jump into supporting teachers and school nutrition professionals. We're excited to have her fresh perspective as the program enters its next stage of growth and we begin to offer more professional development workshops."
Pinter-Petrillo is proud to be part of the local food movement and her understanding of how it intersects with education will be an asset to the Farm to School team. "It is not just about getting kids to try a new type of vegetable or as simple as buying local products," says Michelle. "Feeding students
nutritious food in public school is the foundation of a democracy and it affects hunger, health, the economy, the environment, and everything in between."