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This school year, 35 East Hampton Middle School students will visit a local beekeeper, make sauerkraut, and rake clams as part of the new “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Bays” after-school program to improve eating habits by building an appreciation for how food is raised on the East End. “We wanted to stress that we’re on an island,” said Mary Morgan of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Marine Youth Education Center and a leader of East End Slow Food. “And show how that makes our region different, what seasonal foods are unique to us, and to take the kids clamming and fishing.”

The pilot project is sponsored by Cornell and Slow Food, which raised money last spring for a Junior Slow Food program that would plant school gardens, encourage cooking classes, and take the principles of the international movement against fast food into the classroom. When Mrs. Morgan heard that students at the East Hampton Middle School had boycotted what they considered unhealthy cafeteria choices, she contacted the school and learned about an existing healthy eating campaign called Bonac on Board to Wellness. “We were on the same wavelength,” said Mrs. Morgan, who hopes to attract funding in order to expand the program. “Wouldn’t it be great to have a program like this in every East End school, every year?” (For more information, email mcmorgan@optonline.net or call 323-2320.)

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