North Florida School of Special Education is a private, non-profit school for children and young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Students range in age from 6-22 years. The school also has a Post-graduate program designed for young adults between the ages of 22-35 years. Students have a variety of intellectual disabilities including Down Syndrome, Autism, traumatic brain injury, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc. Berry Good Farms, a division of NFSSE, started in 2010, with a small garden. Since that time, the farm has grown substantially, both in yield and capacity, as well as vision. The farm grows organic and hydroponic vegetables, herbs and fruit. The vision of Berry Good Farms is to provide a self-sustaining industry for students and post-graduates encompassing education, hands-on experience and compensated employment. Students and post-graduates will be trained in the field of horticulture, culinary arts and the production of agricultural goods. Berry Good Farms will provide a safe environment with meaningful work, allowing individuals to reach their maximum potential. Produce and culinary goods are marketed to restaurants, caterers, chefs and the local community. The Culinary Arts program at NFSSE works hand in hand with the farm, using fresh, seasonal produce to create healthy and nutritional meals for weekly lunch service and for special events. Due to the success of the horticulture and culinary arts program, our next expansion will be to purchase a food truck to be used as a mobile outreach program. The "farm to truck" mobile outreach would be a unique opportunity to create an additional facet of horticulture and culinary arts program promoting fresh, healthy foods servicing the community. The food truck project is two-fold in that it will provide additional vocational training opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as benefit the community with locally grown produce and healthy meals.
Funding will be used for the purchase of a food truck and potential updates/modifications, kitchen equipment, food supplies, signage, business licenses and permits, insurance, supervisor salary and marketing.
Project Showcase Proposal
We will have a full size facade that will resemble a food truck with window, awning, sample menu, living garden including vegetables and herbs from Berry Good Farms. We will also have marketing materials and sample food items. On site will be a newly hired chef consultant, program directors and student representatives (truck farmers), eagerly sharing the vision of the "farm to truck" project.
Project Showcase Requirements
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