Passing It On: The Edible Schoolyard & Nutrition Proposal
It is often said, “You are what you eat.” And yet, despite the fact that more than fifty percent of U.S. children eat at least one meal a day in school, offering fresh, healthy food to these students has not been a priority. When we offer our children quality meals, we show them that we care. At the same time we create a backdrop for success.
Educating children about quality food teaches them how to sustain and care for themselves. These lessons lead to a better understanding of their own health and sense of responsibility for the planet.
Alice Waters started the Edible Schoolyard program at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley in 1996. Here, students actively participate in planting, harvesting and preparing organic food in a garden and kitchen classroom. In the Edible Schoolyard, students learn the importance of their role as stewards of the finite resources of our planet, as well as the joy of the table, the pleasures of work, and the value of community.
Since the program’s implementation, it has become the most visible program of its kind in the nation, and has influenced public policy regarding food and nutrition education. Secure funding will ensure the continuation of the Edible Schoolyard as a model for schools and other community organizations, nationally and internationally.