A life of good health is predicated on healthy food choices, and research indicates that healthy eating habits begin at an early age. School gardens can be a key point of access for children and their families to learn about healthy food grown and harvested right in their own neighborhood.
At CitySprouts, edible education is imbedded in all of our programs, from teachers’ lessons in the garden to the harvest meals made in our summer youth program. We ensure that children have on-going opportunities to experience healthy food right where they live, learn and play. The outcome? Children make healthier food choices and understand at the most basic, felt level that food systems are part of the natural ecosystem that sustains all life.
During the school day, teachers in our partner schools use the school garden to grow, tend, harvest and taste fruits and vegetables as a by-product of their lessons.
In our summer program, our young middle-school interns harvest their lunch from the garden and prepare it in temporary outdoor kitchens set up in the schoolyard. Our after-school program introduces middle schoolers to hands-on projects around growing and cooking food.
FoodCorps and CitySprouts
Our indispensable partner in edible education at CitySprouts is FoodCorps. Each year, three FoodCorps service members work with CitySprouts for a full year to nourish a healthy food climate in the neighborhoods and school communities where we work. We connect our FoodCorps team with the district school food service to support healthy food initiatives in the cafeteria. They create inviting opportunities to engage families in the schoolyard. They share their knowledge about good food and at the same time build their expertise as youth leaders in CitySprouts’ vision of a strong local food system and engaged community is aided by our collaboration with our school partners, the Boston and Cambridge school district food service, school health & wellness leadership and the exuberance of the children and families we serve.