Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick
Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

Edible Schoolyard New York City

“We make the connections between food, health, and environment come alive for our students.”

Giving Good, Growing Good | By Nana Boateng | Nature’s Spoonfuls

Edible Schoolyard NYC partners with public schools to transform the hearts, minds, and eating habits of young New Yorkers through garden and kitchen classes integrated into the school day. Edible Schoolyard NYC’s vision is that all children are educated and empowered to make healthy food choices for themselves, their communities, and their environment, actively achieving a just and sustainable food system for all.

Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

Established in 2010, Edible Schoolyard NYC is a nonprofit organization committed to bringing Alice Waters’ vision to New York City public schools. When Alice Waters, acclaimed restaurateur and food activist, created the Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, California in 1995, she knew the best way to teach children the connections between food, health, and the environment was by integrating an edible education program into our schools’ everyday curriculum. As the first official “Founding Edible Schoolyard” in the Northeast, Edible Schoolyard NYC has adapted the Edible Schoolyard Project curriculum and vision to fit the unique needs of New York City public school children. While inspired by the Berkeley program, Edible Schoolyard NYC is an autonomous nonprofit dedicated to New York City.

Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

New York City has the largest public school district in the United States. Still too many children face health challenges and food insecurity.

  • Nearly one in four children in New York City is food insecure
  • Only 14% of American children meet their daily fruit intake; 20% meet the daily requirement for vegetables
  • Over 40% of New York City public school children are obese or overweight
  • Childhood obesity disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color
  • Obesity rates in East Harlem are three times what they are on the Upper East Side, just a few short blocks away.

Edible Schoolyard NYC works to address health inequities by providing schools in low-income communities with integrated food education. Equal access to healthy food is essential. But, an edible education is about more than just food. The goal of all of Edible Schoolyard NYC programs is to change the preferences, attitudes, and eating behaviors of young New Yorkers in favor of healthier foods.

Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick
Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

They do this through hands-on, experiential classes that are integrated into the daily school curriculum. In gardens and kitchens, in homerooms and cafeterias, they work to ensure that all children have access to the joyful, transformative power of enjoying fresh and healthy food.

“Through seed-to-table food education in public schools, we’re growing the next generation of healthy children.”

Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

Edible Schoolyard NYC also offers a Professional Development Program for teachers, nonprofit workers and volunteers to develop skills and learn curriculum to integrate edible education into their own programs.

To learn more about Edible Schoolyard NYC and how to get involved, visit https://www.edibleschoolyardnyc.org

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