This project will provide hands-on job skills training for 100 corpsmembers each year (at risk 18-24 year old young adults) who will build and maintain the garden and urban farm to address the lack of access to fresh produce in low-income urban communities. Local pre-schoolers and students will be able to use the garden as a learning laboratory for biology, botany, ecology and nutrition classes. These lessons will teach students where their food comes from and promote healthy lifestyles.
In Los Angeles, 1 in 5 young people are obese and 1 in 3 adults are obese or overweight, leading to life-long health consequences including a high rate of diabetes among Latino and African-American populations. Lack of access to fresh, affordable produce, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, perpetuates the problem. In urban areas such as East Los Angeles which is surrounded by freeways, the problem is compounded by a lack of safe, outdoor space for physical activity and recreation.
The project will provide high-quality, locally grown fresh produce and educational opportunities for our corpsmembers, children from six LAUSD sites within walking distance, and residents in the surrounding neighborhood. Corpsmembers will learn about sustainable agriculture and create greater community awareness of practices such as composting and water efficient irrigation that residents can use at home. Local students will benefit from experiential outdoor lessons and physical activity.
100 corpsmembers each year will learn green job skills and gain work experience to help them secure full-time employment and build successful futures for themselves and their families. They will educate more than 200 students and residents on sustainable gardening practices and nutrition and provide fresh produce to local residents to promote healthier lifestyles. By teaching the younger generation to be more aware of nutrition, they will have a lasting impact on their health and well-being.