I am excited to partner with these two fabulous organizations that are directly working to advance public health through healthy food. Over the course of the next year I will be focused on sharing healthy recipes here on NOM and PLAY and their websites.
Below are a few pictures of my time working in Los Angeles this past summer in the learning gardens with students.
The Kicthen Community:
The Kitchen Community CEO and co-founder Kimbal Musk is an entrepreneur, restaurateur, and the father of three children who have always had access to a school garden. He’s been involved with the school garden movement for over a decade and has seen firsthand the way school gardens can help kids increase their preference for nutritious foods, develop healthier responses to stress, and improve their academic performance.
Recognizing that the school environment is uniquely positioned to catalyze longterm change, and unsatisfied with the rate of adoption of traditional school gardens, Kimbal co-founded The Kitchen Community in order to create a replicable, scalable school garden solution.
We build Learning Gardens at scale—at least 100 in any given community. Working at scale not only enables us to work more efficiently and cost-effectively, it also accelerates a shift in food culture within a community. To bring our Learning Gardens and education programming to 50,000+ students is to create a much larger change in a region, ensuring that it chooses and values real food over processed, benefiting the community in the long term.
We currently reach nearly 100,000 students around the country each day, and now seek to accelerate our growth and deepen our impact by expanding our Learning Gardens and programming to ten total regions by 2020, reaching 1,000,000 students in 1,000 schools.
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides a diversified wellness curriculum in partnership with public schools in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles. Students learn about the process of growing, harvesting, sourcing and cooking food and examine their own neighborhood food system to make informed choices about their overall health + wellness.
Founded by Ashleigh J Parsons, Harvard University, EdM, in 2012, in collaboration with a community of likeminded chefs, farmers, artists and activists, Akasa is a response to the lack of healthy food opportunities that exist for low-income youth living in food deserts in Los Angeles. Akasa administers an intensive, weekly wellness curriculum that uses cooking, gardening and mindfulness to reconnect students with their bodies. Akasa currently provides the curriculum to 200 low-income students ages 6-18 on a weekly basis, reaching over 7,000 students on a yearly basis. The team is made up of an exceptional community of urban agriculturists, chefs and educators who instruct the weekly curriculum.
IL Council of Women and Girls in partnership with United State of Women
The Council is “responsible for providing recommendations to the state officials on the effects of pending legislation and policy proposals; for suggesting changes to state programs or policies to address issues of special importance to women, girls, and gender minorities; for reviewing and recommending changes to policies that have a distinct impact on women in the workforce; and for assisting in the development of legislative and policy proposals of special importance to women and girls equity.”
Areas of Impact
Education: Increasing educational opportunities and outcomes for women and girls in Illinois.
Economic Opportunity: Working to help bring Illinois women and girls out of poverty and provide opportunities for success.
Workforce Equity: Advancing women’s equality in the workplace through equitable policies and increasing women’s entrepreneurship.
Leadership: Increasing women’s representation in top leadership positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Health Care: Ensuring equitable, affordable health care and securing reproductive justice.
Child Care: Ensuring access to safe affordable care
Safety: Fighting and preventing violence against women and girls in all forms that it takes.
STEAM: Leading the way for women and girls to study and enter the STEAM fields. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics)
Intersectionality: Advancing a women and girls agenda that takes into account the intersectional experiences of women—including race, color, religion, age, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.