Learn It Grow It Eat It

Learn It Grow It Eat It is a youth development and outreach program of GrowNYC that works in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx to improve food access and raise awareness about healthy eating.

During the school year, LGE staff offers weekly classroom-based programs and school-sponsored internships in urban horticulture and nutrition education for students enrolled at Bronx Regional High School, Bronx International High School, and Ellis Preparatory Academy, reaching 200 students each year.

From this group of students, we hire 15-20 paid summer interns for six weeks. They tend community gardens, learn to cook, teach younger children in the garden, run a weekly farm stand and create and deliver extensive outreach around health and nutrition. As LGE participants learn for themselves and teach others in their community about the relationship between food, health, their community, and the environment, they make deep personal gains and reach thousands of children and adults each year.

In The Garden

We make the connection between food and environment when tending three neighborhood community gardens. Teens get outside to plant, water, weed, compost, tend soil, grow and harvest vegetables. They take some home, they donate to others or sell at our farm stand. They tour younger children through the garden and teach the importance of plants, how they grow, introduce them to new varieties of fruits and vegetables and, demonstrate simple recipes. Teens learn how to identify different vegetables and native plants and keep garden journals where they track the growth of specific vegetables and identify problems such as pests, plant diseases and over/under watering.

At the Farm Stand

We spread the word about eating healthy. Teen interns run their own business: the Learn It Grow It Eat It Youthmarket, making available fresh fruits and vegetables. There they lead mini nutrition workshops - How Much Sugar is in Your Drink or The Road to Bad Health is Paved in Salt - and give out information about unhealthy eating habits (and the benefits of eating locally grown. They prepare cooking demos using ingredients featured that day at the market. Customers can use SNAP, WIC and Health Bucks to shop.

In the Community

Teens host health workshops in waiting rooms at Bronx Lebanon Hospital as well as other community centers that work with homeless and HIV populations such as Amber Hall and VIP community services. They interview residents about healthy eating and hold workshops about nutrition and healthy eating at local sites such as public libraries and community centers and in our gardens for visiting youth groups. They also promote healthy food outlets in the Bronx at community events, farmers markets (including some of our Greenmarkets), and other centers.

For more information, contact David Saphire at dsaphire@grownyc.org

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Image by Christine Wong of @Conscious_Cooking 

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