The Great Apple Crunch of 2018

In early 2018 the team at Dream Distributors started working on a plan to get involved with a Great Lakes initiative called The Great Apple Crunch. The team worked with representatives from Seven Generations Ahead and Kuipers Family Farm in the early planning stages. With an enthusiastic team in place the task of reaching out to school districts began. East Aurora immediately expressed an interest in this farm-to-school event and the next phase of planning began.

Why is this initiative important? While the concept of farm-to-table gets a lot of attention today, farm-to-school is a lesser-known idea. 6 in 10 kids do not get their fruit serving each day, so clearly there is an opportunity for growth in this arena. On this Great Apple Crunch day, 920 apples from Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park were delivered by the Dream Distributors trucks to five different schools in East Aurora.

Shopping locally for food not only supports local businesses and farms, but there is an ecological benefit too. When the apples travel a shorter distance, less emissions are used. Most apples travel over 2,000 miles to reach their destination, while a requirement of this initiative is that the apples for this day may not travel more than 250 miles. With the participation of Dream Distributors, these apples traveled less than 40 miles.

At the Aurora Early Childhood Center, the school has been teaching lessons that relate to their current “fall” theme, and apples are a natural fit. A collaborative poster had been created in preparation for the big Crunch day, and this artwork made the perfect backdrop for the main event. The students were all smiles as they gathered in front of their school to crunch on these delicious apples. To extend their learning from this day, the staff has planned a field trip to Kuipers Family Farm for the students. The children will have the opportunity to see where the apples are grown and how they are picked from the trees, connecting them to their food in a new way.

Though the Crunch has ended, discussions have only just begun about the next possibly opportunity to connect local farms with local schools. Kane County is rich in agriculture and Dream Distributors is aiming to make the farm-to-school concept a big part of the future. Maybe these young students will be crunching on some broccoli next!