Kelowna parents want to to help feed students through building a farm | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna parents want to to help feed students through building a farm

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February 23, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A Kelowna Parent Advisory Council is asking the Central Okanagan school district for a $50,000 loan so they can build a farm that would supply breakfast and lunch programs with fresh produce.

If approved, the farm would be built on the northeast parking lot of KLO Middle School, inside of a 40-foot insulated shipping container and would feature an industrial-grade hydroponic system.

According to a report, which will be presented to the Board of Education Feb. 26, the KLO PAC said the farm fits within the B.C. curriculum with project-based learning and would also support its feeder schools.

It would use the farm as part of its education programs, as well as support its lunch and breakfast programs. In the future, the PAC would also like to connect with UBC Okanagan to expand learning opportunities with the farm.

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“Through this initiative, we are looking to transform our breakfast program, lunch programs, and our snack programs in hopes of creating educational opportunities for students in relation to their sense of environmental sustainability,” the PAC said in the report.

While there are already garden boxes installed at Central Okanagan public schools, there’s nothing that has been implemented at this scale, said district board chair Moyra Baxter.

“This is something quite new,” she said.

“It’s not unusual that when a parent advisory council gets into these sorts of projects that they get a loan from the district and pay it back every year,” she said, adding that PACs will sometimes use loans for projects like playgrounds.

The school board will decide if the PAC receives the loan Feb. 26.

The total cost of the project is $300,000, with $250,000 being supplied by a grant.

The plan to repay the loan will be based on PAC support and student initiatives related to the farm.

The repayment plan is based on a five-year loan with the aim to repay the district as soon as possible, the PAC said in the report.


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