TRAVERSE CITY — Leelanau Montessori Public School Academy pupils sold nearly $3,700 worth of locally grown and produced foods through a recent fundraiser.
Sixth grader Nicholas Plamondon said it was fun selling products like Brownwood Farms jams, Higher Grounds coffee, and salsas from Esch Road Foods to his aunts, uncles and grandparents.
He also had fun tasting the fare.
"The peach salsa was really good," Plamondon said.
About $1,700 from the food drive will go to the 134-student school. The rest is destined for the local businesses and farms that produced the products, minus a 10-percent cut for FarmRaiser, the Flint-based company that coordinated the drive.
FarmRaiser helps schools in Michigan raise money and teach students about their local economies, said Christina Carson, the group's campaign coordinator.
Connie Lauferskey, Leelanau Montessori's head of school, said those are two things that spark passion in her students' families.
"The opportunity for families to support our school and local business and farms was perfect for us," she said.
Carson said FarmRaiser also beefs up business for local farms and food producers, and unlike a lot of other school fundraisers, educates students about healthy-eating habits.
"A lot of the fundraisers that are accessible to schools are selling cookie dough," Carson said.
Carson said she brought a slew of local foods to Leelanau Montessori at the start of the fundraiser for students to sample. Roasted root vegetables were among the offerings. Carson said they were a hit with the students, but they weren't the most popular local food.
That distinction went to dessert.
"The kids, of course, particularly enjoyed the chocolate," Lauferskey said.