A fundraiser for Yukon schools has raised more than $52,000 and helped stock the local food bank with some much-needed fresh produce. 

The "From the Ground Up" campaign has become an annual event, with several local farms supplying carrots, beets, potatoes and cabbage to fill boxes sold by Yukon students.

Kim Hickman, the Yukon government's community dietician, says 16 schools took part this year, selling 3,744 boxes.

"That's over 74,000 pounds of Yukon-grown veggies that are in Yukoners' bellies," Hickman said.

Each box sells for $35 and schools get 40 per cent of the proceeds, with the rest going to the farmers.

"It is a pretty significant fundraiser for the schools. I would say for most schools, it is their biggest fundraiser of the year," Hickman said. 

"We've basically encouraged the schools to use the funds for some sort of heathy eating or wellness-type initiative at their schools." 

Hickman says a couple of farmers in Haines Junction participated this year, supplying the local school there with the vegetables. In all, five rural schools took part this year.  

Some boxes were even shipped up to Old Crow.

Tristan Newsome

'It directly gives us the nutritious, perishable items that a lot of clients are looking for,' says Tristan Newsome of the Whitehorse Food Bank. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

Most people buy the boxes to enjoy the veggies themselves, but others opt to donate their purchase directly to the Whitehorse food bank.  

Tristan Newsome, director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the donations are always welcome.

"It directly gives us the nutritious, perishable items that a lot of clients are looking for — especially during this season, when produce gets a little more expensive."

A second round of sales, this time raising money for local day cares, is expected to begin soon. 
 

With files from Philippe Morin