Edible Schoolyard Modern Kids Design Post

The Edible Schoolyard Project — Fresh Food for A Better Future

“What we are calling for is a revolution in public education – the Delicious Revolution. When the hearts and minds of our children are captured by a school lunch curriculum, enriched with experience in the garden, sustainability will become the lens through which they see the world.”  — Alice Waters


When you were in school, did you have access to a free, organic lunch everyday? Perhaps not, but The Edible Schoolyard Project wants to create a new expectation for today’s students.  Modern Kids Design couldn’t be more excited by the strides that this San Francisco Bay Area organization is taking to turn their vision into a reality. The Edible Schoolyard is the brainchild of Alice Waters, who many consider the mother of the organic food movement. Waters, came into the limelight after opening Chez Panisse, a Berkeley-based restaurant that serves up gourmet dishes made solely from locally-sourced ingredients, in 1975. To honor the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, Waters created the Chez Panisse Foundation, a nonprofit committed to delivering the values of the restaurant to a school environment. The name of the endeavor was later changed to the Edible Schoolyard project.


The organization is driven by a mission “for gardens and kitchens to become interactive classrooms for academic subjects, and for every student to have a free, nutritious, organic lunch. ”The Edible Schoolyard project began when Neil Smith, the principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, read a newspaper article that quoted Waters remarking that the area’s schoolyards looked like loveless plots. Together, they shifted the physical – and political – landscape of the lot, transforming it from “empty space” to an area of potential. Students, teachers, parents, and other community members gathered around the shared vision of bringing a community together through fresh, healthy food.  The rest, as they say, is history. Today, King Middle School’s Dining Commons is the central kitchen for all of the 16 schools in the district. They provide over 10,000 meals daily, each one made from fresh and healthy ingredients, and the original Edible Schoolyard harvests more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce each year.


Luckily, even if your child does not attend a school in the Bay Area, he or she can still gain enrichment from the Edible Schoolyard experience.  Here’s why….The organization offers:


Resources. The vast catalogue of resources isn’t merely divided by grade level and season. It also offers an array of subjects, like Nutrition Education, Professional Development, Foreign Language, History, Math, Science, Art and more.


A Nationwide Network. There are over 2,935 garden classrooms, 424 kitchen classrooms, and 271 school cafeterias scattered throughout the United States. Explore the different programs, get in touch for advice, and get your own school on the map!


When shopping at Modern Kids Design,  if you’d like to choose this organization to support, visit their section here, and 5% of your purchase will be donated to The Edible Schoolyard Project. As always, we appreciate your feedback. Feel free to email us at info@modernkidsdesign.com if you’d like to share your thoughts or have suggestions for future posts. Thanks for reading!

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