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What’s one EASY thing a child can do in order to join the Food policy conversation?
Local Schools Taking #MeatlessMondays to the Next Level
Meatless Monday is one of WiseTribe’s favorite campaigns that is changing the world. It is micro action at a macro level, and with each burger traded in for a plate of vegetables, an unbelievable impact is made on our wonderful planet.
That’s all it takes.
Saying no to meat just once a week changes the world at scale, but this is an easier habit to form at a young age.
The Meatless Monday phenomenon continues to pick up steam across the nation, particularly in WiseTribe’s home state of Florida. We want to highlight a few schools taking action to support this cause.
This new group of schools has just started classes, but made news in 2018 by aiming to become the first exclusively vegan public school in the U.S.
Located in Pinellas County on the western side of Florida, KING Charter was formed by vegan parents and educators in an effort to inspire change and healthy lifestyle habits. The school will primarily target economically underprivileged communities and teach an array of nutrition classes to build sustainable habits into the curriculum.
Parents are welcome too, as the school will offer lectures and workshops for families to attend together in order to learn more about plant-based lifestyles. While other schools have instituted Meatless Mondays, you have to wonder if this radical change is something that can kick the entire movement into high gear and inspire other schools to follow suit and go full plant-based.
Another program going above and beyond the Meatless Monday movement is Kelsey Pharr in Miami-Dade. These students at Kelsey Pharr, along with ten other schools in the area, have grown their own food forest.
While teachers are recruited to oversee the gardens alongside the kids, the schools make sure professional gardeners are advising the schools to ensure things are running smoothly. As a result, nearly every student at Kelsey Pharr receives free or nearly-free school lunches.
Alena Sheriff teaches at nearby Twin Lakes Elementary in Hialeah — the school with the first food forest in the county. She says it’s easier to convince kids to eat veggies they raised themselves.
“We have a thing at school we call taco salad,” Sheriff says. “We walk around and pick a variety of the leaves, the greens, and we roll it up and stuff it all in your mouth. And that’s taco salad.”
They also mentioned going into other schools and starting gardens, but they don’t last long due to a lack of effort. With this many people involved and committed to the movement, great things can happen. Several thousand square feet are now full of fresh fruit and vegetables for years to come, all of which goes straight to the hard-working students.
University of Florida
As with any other college, you’ll have every opportunity to stuff your face with alcohol and fast food at UF, but the school’s big contribution to the Meatless Monday initiative came in the form of research.
Congress passed the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 in an effort to improve nutrition amongst the youth. Researchers from the University of Florida then dove in to figure out the impact of locally procured produce on students’ consumption of fruits and vegetables served as part of the National School Lunch Program menu. In this instance, the foods consisted mainly of raw vegetables, including leafy greens, cucumbers, and peppers along with a few strawberries and blueberries.
Researchers studied students at six elementary schools in Alachua County, Florida and looked at the amount of food thrown in the garbage. The results showed that students at schools with a Farm to School program eat 37% more vegetables and 11% more fruit.
The FTS programs typically consist of local procurement of products served in the cafeterias, hands-on activities such as gardening, nutrition education and activities, and much more. All of these activities play vital roles in establishing sustainable healthy lifestyles within our youth.
Carver Middle School
The teachers and staff of Carver Middle School believe that their mission is to assist all students in obtaining skills that will enable them to be successful now and in the future.
Carver Middle School is a multicultural learning community in which students, teachers, and parents are achieving excellence in education using innovative teaching techniques and stimulating extracurricular activities in a safe learning environment.
Extracurricular activities and innovative techniques like WiseTribe’s #gardengates program – vertical gardens made from reusable parts in order to feed the community and teach our kids about healthy eating.
As part of our mission to build a better future, let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy! Lets get #GardenGates projects directly into Delray and the surrounding communities in Southeast Florida.
If you’re interested in supporting us, be sure to volunteer this upcoming Saturday, February 16th at our Love Delray – Building Food Solutions & Upcycling Waste event:
- Creating Murals for a local school;
- Building Vertical Gardens to feed our community;
- Planting fresh produce for school lunches!