• Sitka’s ‘Fish to Schools’ project to be honored during Wednesday’s fish lunch at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

Sitka’s Fish to Schools project will be honored with the grand prize of the Alaska Farm to School Challenge during the fish lunch from 11:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. Alaska First Lady Sandy Parnell and Alaska Division of Agriculture Director Franci Havermeister will be in attendance to present the award.

Sitka’s Fish to Schools project came out of the 2010 Sitka Health Summit, when increasing access to locally harvest fish in school menus was chosen as one of the community’s top four health priorities for the year. The project started with a monthly fish lunch entrée option at Blatchley Middle School, then expanded to Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary and Pacific High School. The program now is twice-monthly, and it has grown with the support of the Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka School District, local fishermen, and other community members. The program has become a successful model for what can be done in other parts of the state.

“We are excited to honor Sitka in its efforts, and appreciate that First Lady Sandy Parnell also see the value in projects like this that highlight both Alaska’s youth and natural resource bounty,” Havermeister said in a press release.

For more information about Sitka’s Fish to Schools program, contact Tracy Gagnon at 747-7509 or tracy@sitkawild.org.