For the past half-decade, Learn It Grow It Eat It (LGE) has helped over 1,500 teenagers at six South Bronx based High Schools make the connection between food and the environment, their community, and themselves. They have learned how to decipher food labels, grow vegetables, and developed skills to make educated decisions regarding food and health. Since its inception in 2007, 75 teens have participated in our paid six week summer internship where they tend organic fruit, vegetable and herb gardens in three South Bronx based community gardens, run a weekly farmers market and teach children and adults about the environment and healthy eating. This opportunity puts money in their pockets and equips them with an array of skills that they can take with them in their future educational endeavors and the job market.
We have also started providing part-time work opportunities to graduates of our summer program during the year. By working in the community gardens that we are part of, and helping out with nutrition workshops at other farmers markets, health fairs and school events these alumni continue to be ambassadors of the good food movement in their communities while gaining additional work experience at a time when employment opps are scarce.
Our focus remains the Morrisania section of the South Bronx (a neighborhood still plagued by food related health issues such as obesity and diabetes) but we have been spreading the word to other neighborhoods as well: advising the three-year old Urban Assembly High School for Green Careers in Manhattan on its gardening program and sharing our best practices for working with teens during the summer. We also participate in health fairs around the city and host food-label reading workshops in schools and community centers.
For more information about Learn It, Grow It, Eat It, e-mail David Saphire at firstname.lastname@example.org.