Greenpoint Gazette

Automotive Students Bite into Hundreds of Apples for Food Day

BY Tanay Warerkar

For National Food Day, educators at Automotive High School encouraged students to take “an apple a day…,” a step farther.

On Friday, students participated in the Big Apple Crunch, an annual event organized by GrowNYC, the citywide environmental non-profit, that encourages New Yorkers to take part in a Citywide attempt to break the record for the most apples eaten on a single day each year.

“Crunch Heard Around the World,” as the organization calls it, kicked off with a celebration at the Union Square Greenmarket and at various GrowNYC greenmarkets and youth markets throughout the city.

The idea is for everyone to bite into their apples at a designated time, but New Yorkers can continue to bite into their apples until the end of the day to be participants.

Local businesses, citywide organizations, and schools often take part in the annual event.

To back-up her push for healthier lifestyles at Automotive, Principal Caterina Lafergola-Stanczuk agreed to fund the program for her students.

“It’s about promoting those farm-to-table ideas that are so common in this neighborhood,” she said. “It’s a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle among our students and to encourage them to make better dietary choices.”

Automotive’s involvement in the event was spearheaded by Ecology/Environment teacher Theresa Mcintyre, and fit into her unit on nutrition. Another component of the unit had students keep a food journal chronicling their food choices over the course of the unit.

To prepare for the Big Apple Crunch, Mcintyre’s students took a field trip to Lawrence Farm Orchards in Newburgh, New York, where they picked more than 800 apples, which were packed into 14 boxes for their fellow classmates.

“I wanted to provide the students with the experience of knowing where their food comes from and also the importance of eating locally sourced foods,” said Mcintyre.

On Friday, students throughout the building were offered apples, along with t-shirts the school had specially designed for the event.

Up next, students are partnering with GrowNYC, for whom they will conduct food demonstrations to promote healthier food options among their classmates at the Greenmarket at McCarren Park.

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