admin by Marc Schutzbank | 21 Nov 2017
Topics:
Education & Learning,Local Food

Grow educational farms on school grounds to provide Good Food for All youth!

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Fresh Roots is a charity based in the Lower Mainland that helps grow Good Food For All. We do that by growing 1/2 acre educational farms where the food we grow is brought into the school community: cafeterias, neighbours, and community. we work with teachers to use the garden as an outdoor classroom for science, math, literature. And during the summer and after school we hire youth to learn how to grow, to cook food with local chefs and share that food amongst themselves and the community in need.  They sell the food at the farmer’s market running the farm as a social enterprise. 

This season, we have a donor who is matching any donations that are made in 2017 up to $15,000.  Will you join our Veggie Brigade of sponsors who can help us to grow Good Food For All?  Learn more online: www.freshroots.ca/donate

2000 Vancouver youth daily go hungry, 30% of Canadian youth are overweight or obese. On average, students receive 35% of their calories in school; food insecure students – 50%.4,5 Vancouver’s youth (54%) do not eat the recommended daily amount of fruits or vegetables; 48% of healthy weight females are trying to lose weight; 35% had binge eaten in the past year. Poor student nutrition extends across socioeconomic status and impacts the full spectrum of student lives: academics, mental health and fitness. Hunger affects many students: those who may have to use lunch money for school supplies; who choose pop and chips; who leave their lunch at home; or who have eating disorders.

WE WORK TOWARDS CHANGING THIS EVERY DAY IN THREE KEY WAYS:
GROWING GOOD FOOD
Everyone deserves access to Good Food – and that’s why we grow it. We use our productive farms and locations for learning food literacy. We have two half acre farms at VanTech and David Thompson Secondary Schools. The food that we grow is sold right back into the community. We use organic principles and sustainability as our way of caring for the planet. We grow organic food – or as your grandma calls it, food.
For every farmer under 35, there are 6 over 65. And while growing food is important, even farmers need to retire. We’re helping train and teach the future growers, food distributors, chefs, and marketers what food is and where it comes from through our Schoolyard Farm Internship.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
Our farms are sites for training and supporting youth. During the summer we hire youth through SOYL, where they learn to:
Produce: Youth grow healthy food for themselves and their community;
Cook: Youth cook with local chefs to produce meals for themselves and anyone in need in their school community;
Lead: Youth explore food justice and leadership through our leadership curriculum;
Sell: Youth sell the food they grow at farmer’s markets, developing critical financial literacy skills, and feeling comfortable speaking and engaging with adults.
We duplicate this program during the school year through our after school garden clubs and volunteer programs for adults and youth.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
We help bring what’s in our textbooks to life. Whether with teachers at our current schools or for teachers who come to visit, we help to engage teachers and students with experiential learning opportunities from field trips to professional development. The new BC curriculum provides a rich opportunity to use our passion for Good Food and getting outside to learn all of the core curriculum. Our vision is to support teachers and educators inside and outside the classroom.
So come and do something food with us – help grow and share Good Food!

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