I’m humbled to be volunteering as a mentor to teens at Clinton DeWitt High School in the Bronx with a non-profit organization called Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ). The mission of TFFJ is to create a realistic solution to food insecurity, or lack of access to healthy and nutritious food, by empowering youth to build and maintain sustainable food systems in their community.
Lettuce growing at Dewitt Clinton High School in Bronx, NYC. @matt_horgan
TFFJ leads a team to train students in Title I schools in the unique craft of urban farming through the “building and maintaining of indoor farms that yield more than 22, 000 lbs. of fresh produce annually at each location” in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx (http://www.teensforfoodjustice.org/).
Cucumbers and a variety of leafy greens and herbs growing hydroponically by students at Dewitt Clinton High School in Bronx, NYC. @matt_horgan
Additionally, these youth-run urban farms are feeding students nutritious and fresh meals in their cafeteria, as well as increasing the food security of the area by distributing fresh produce people in the surrounding local community. There is also a focus on teaching students about advocating for policy on the local, state, and federal levels of government to ensure that funding and other resources are given to increase people’s access to healthy food options.
Moreover, the mentorship program I am participating in has been really rewarding. I help facilitate a wide range of activities aimed at teaching the students about creating and sustaining hydroponic systems, advocating for food justice in the policy setting, cooking healthy and nutritious meals.
Students participate in a cooking challenge to create a veggie burger, chocolate avocado pudding, and pasta salad. (Secret ingredient: parsley grown in the schools hydroponic farm) @matt_horgan
Finally, the students put on a Leadership Conference at Agritecture Consulting where students presented data they collected from surveys they designed and conducted in the community around their school to see what fresh, healthy food was available to stores and restaurants.
See more about becoming a mentor here: http://www.teensforfoodjustice.org/be-a-mentor-2/
If you would like to support Teens for Food Justice, see the links below!