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Former refugees grow, supply produce for seven child daycares

Farmers with Global Gardens teamed up with Nutrition Works to provide fresh produce to daycare centers. This week, students were able to visit a garden.

BOISE, Idaho — Students usually grow their skills in the classroom, but this time they are growing them in the garden.

"It helps to foster a sense of where their food comes from. That connection to it and their expansion on food," Nutrition Works program monitor Kelli Jeffress said.

Nutrition Works, an organization that provides health and wellness resources, partnered with Global Gardens, a refugee-led community garden, to provide seven childcare centers throughout the Treasure Valley with fresh produce.

The partnership helps about 60 to 100 children from Caldwell to Mountain Home during the growing season. On Wednesday, students were able to stop by a local garden owned by farmers from refugee backgrounds to learn about the foods they eat.

"They are coming to see where those veggies are actually grown," said Ben Brock, Global Gardens farm manager.

Students were able to learn about carrots, beets, onions, apples, and the most popular one at the event were the blackberries.

"Not only do we get to expose them to what they look like in their childcare settings and those colors and variations, but also where they come from,” Jeffress said. “Sometimes kids are a little timid when they first come out here, but once they are into it, they are eating those blackberries, they are eating those carrots. They are really just diving in.”

Not only are the students learning, parents also dug into the knowledge.

"We just had a parent say 'I didn't know that I where blackberries came from, on the bush. So, that was, bless her heart, just a moment. So, she said thank you for providing this opportunity to my child,” Jeffress said.

The fresh produce is also available for anyone in the community.

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