New Milford Hospital's Plow to Plate Youth Chef Advocacy program and Friends of Sullivan Farm's Sustainable Farming Internship program are collaborating in an effort to bridge the gap between local food production and the dinner plate.

Students will continue to apply to the respective programs, but will intermittently join together to mentor each other on the fundamentals of their respective programs.

The Youth Chefs Advocacy program is open to 10 New Milford students in grades 7 to 10 who are interested in local food and agriculture, health and environmental implications of food choices and learning how to prepare and serve seasonal meals.

The program coincides with the state's growing season and will run from March 12 to July 5.

Except for the orientation and some field trips, classes will be held after school on Tuesdays from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the First Congregational Church on Main Street and on select dates at Sullivan Farm on Route 202.

Transportation from Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford High School and field trips will be provided.

Shared sessions will include field trips to farms, documentaries and discussions about sustainable food systems, preparing and sharing dinners with the community, and advocating for a healthy food system.

The cost is $50. Financial aid is available.

For more information or to download an application, visit www.plowtoplate.org by March 4.