From the Garden to the Table’s (FGTT) eat and live green programs apply a “full-circle” approach to these problems by involving students, parents, teachers, schools, and communities in creating better health and a more supportive and greener environment. FGTT’s solutions include:
Our Solution to Inadequate Nutrition
Adequate nutrition includes accessing fresh healthy foods, learning the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices and prepare meals, and creating an environment that supports green, positive change. FGTT’s eat and live green nutrition programs include:
- Green Teaching Kitchens – Hands-on experience is crucial to skill building. Green teaching kitchens bring students, families, and the community together to make fresh, organic meals in a setting that models the green principles and products that contribute to good health. FGTT’s team of green architects and designers transform existing school space into a green and sustainable teaching kitchen for everyone.
- Health, Nutrition, and Cooking Classes – Instead of quick, fat and sodium filled pre-packaged meals, students are armed with the skills to select, prepare, and serve simple healthy, economical meals for themselves and their families. FGTT’s health, nutrition, and cooking classes develop knowledge and build healthy life-style and career skills in nutrition, food preparation, service and safety. Classes are offered during after school or school-day programs.
- Garden-Based Nutrition – Many studies show youth and families who are engaged in gardening are mode likely to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. FGTT’s team of garden and environmental experts create school- and community-based gardens to teach students and families how foods are grown and harvested. They experience the flavor of fresh organic produce and learn simple garden techniques for home gardens.
- Fresh, Organic School Meals – School breakfasts and lunches fill critical nutritional needs. They combat hunger and nutrient deficiencies by providing more than 50% of the calories and nutrients students need in a day. FGTT designs and produces school meals that not only supply important nutrients, they bring fresh, healthy, appealing options that indulge the senses with fresh, organically grown breakfasts, lunches, and after-school snacks. FGTT also revitalizes the lunchroom to feature a “new media” of art, posters, and murals reinforcing the message of healthy enjoyment of physical activity, fresh food, fruits, and vegetables.
- School Nutrition Policy – The University of California at Berkeley emphasizes the importance of creating an environment that promotes an active lifestyle and healthful food choices to reduce obesity rates and health problems among children and adults. FGTT works with the school and community to develop and implement policies to reduce the use of candy, sodas, and low-nutrient foods as classroom rewards and school or club fundraisers.
- Access to Fresh Organic Food – Access to high-quality fresh produce in low-income communities of color is a critical first step toward improving health. FGTT organizes and conducts a weekly organic community farmers’ market. In addition, classes include regular trips to stores that offer bulk foods and grains and other healthier and economical options.
Our Solution to Inactivity
Regular Physical Activity helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles and reduces the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, school-based physical activity positively affects students’ performance in both reading and mathematics achievement. FGTT’s eat and live green physical development programs include:
- Morning Tai Chi for Students and Families – FGTT provides active opportunities to help students reach the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day. The FGTT Physical Development Director teaches Tai Chi to reduces stress, improve health, and prepare students for learning.
- Physical Development Classes – FGTT includes martial arts that provide health-promoting exercise for students and adults. Benefits include better overall health and balance, as well as an improved sense of psychological well-being. FGTT provides White Crane Chinese Martial Arts classes after school and during school to develop physical fitness, discipline, and lifelong activity and health.
Our Solution to Poor Environmental Quality
A clean school and home learning environment are essential to student health and achievement. From the Garden to the Table’s (FGTT) eat and live green programs model and teach about systems, materials, and cleaning practices that lead to better health and a greener environment. FGTT’s solutions include:
- Recycling and Composting Programs – FGTT develops school-based recycling and composting systems to reduce waste and create soil for the garden.
- Promoting Locally, Organically Grown Foods – FGTT contrasts the pesticide exposure, flavor, nutrient value, and benefits of locally grown, organic foods with importing conventionally grown foods. Classes
- Emphasizing Sustainable Packaging and Products – FGTT emphasizes preparing fresh foods and minimizing use of processed and packaged foods. Students and families tour and shop grocers who feature bulk and locally grown products.
- Using Green Cleaning Products – FGTT teaches students and communities about greener, less toxic cleaning products and practices to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals that can trigger sensitivity reactions and asthma.
- Building with Green Building – FGTT builds teaching areas and meal kitchens from green and sustainable paints and materials to reduce health problems, eye irritation, and inflamed skin. Classrooms and classes teach how to access and use these resources for cleaner and less hazardous learning and living environments.
FGTT’s team of professional green designers and architects; organic food producers, restaurants, and grocers; and professional kung fu and t’ai chi instructors deliver eat and live green programs to improve the environment and health of students and the whole community. This model can be tailored to any schools, neighborhood, and city.