UMass Students Help Chicopee Elementary Students Celebrate Food Week


DATE:           Tuesday, Nov. 18

TIME:            Media availability 2:45 to 3:15 p.m.

WHAT:          UMass Amherst student volunteers in food sustainability

WHERE:       Lambert Lavoie Elementary School, 99 Kendall St., Chicopee

Just in time for Thanksgiving and in conjunction with Chicopee’s “Food Week” celebration, University of Massachusetts Amherst students, some in costume, will bring an afternoon of food-related fun to 45 fourth- and fifth-grade students at Chicopee’s Lambert Lavoie Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 18 from about 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Organizer Meg Little, senior sustainability coordinator for UMass Amherst Auxiliary Enterprises, says the goal is to involve the elementary school children in “fun and positive connections with local and sustainable foods.” She says the event is part of a long-term shared project between UMass Amherst and Chicopee Public Schools, who both received a grant from the Kendall Foundation aimed at increasing local food purchasing to support the New England food system. “This is a great opportunity to bring the two sister programs together to celebrate local food in an exciting, collaborative way. Both of our dining programs are working towards the same goals. What better way to celebrate this than to bring together students from both programs and have fun with food?”

Joanne Lennon, director of food service for Chicopee schools, says, “I think that spending the time with the younger children in our district, teaching them the value of locally grown food and how fresh it is and how green the products are is going to help educate them now and for healthier lifestyles in the future.” 

Activities are expected to include:

  • Creating real “Mr. Potato Heads”
  • Making hand-made cards with vegetable stamps
  • Potato sack races
  • Playing a vegetable quiz game
  • Playing an “Eat Your Words” game
  • Making and eating fresh smoothies
  • Competing in a “carrot crunch” contest