To receive a $2 health buck at the Learn It Grow It Eat It Youthmarket on 169th and Boston Road in the South Bronx, customers volunteer to answer a health quiz question or visit our nutrition education workshop. Our student Jose is asking customers “tell me one way to make a sandwich healthier?” There are lots of good answers “cut the mayo,” “use whole wheat bread.” One customer answers “why would I want to do that?” Jose directs him to our interactive nutrition education station where he learns about the possible health consequences of a diet high in fat, salt, and sugar…
That’s how the teens who participate in Learn It Grow It Eat It improve the South Bronx: one resident at a time. Each year Learn It Grow It Eat It reaches 200 students in four South Bronx high schools, and works with for-credit and paid interns during school breaks and over the summer helping them to make the connection between food, health, community, and the environment.
Our approach is simple. We introduce students to the fundamentals of eating healthier, such as reading food labels and distinguishing between natural and processed foods. During the growing season they work in nearbycommunity gardens and learn to grow and cook with their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They also run a 20-week farm stand where they lead cooking demonstrations and nutrition education. The market has been wildly successful (over $13,000 of food sold last year) and a destination point for residents who congregate in the small triangle to buy food, participate in a workshop, get a health buck and shop at the market.
“Ultimately it comes down to how we can step up to be a positive influence in our community” (Raicha, summer intern 2012)
The Waiting Room Game: Teens Reach Hospital Visitors
At Bronx Lebanon Hospital waiting rooms and at health fairs around the city our teens run nutrition workshops that include cooking demos, a fast-food IQ test, and a primer on choosing healthier foods (in English and Spanish). For many students and community members it’s an eye-opening experience as they make the connection between what they eat and how it affects their body. Reaching approximately 1,500 residents annually, the combination of 20-minute quiz show format featuring cooking demonstrations, call and response questions, recipe hand-outs and samples is high-impact.
Click HERE to learn more about Learn It Grow It Eat It