Youngsters at Jacksonville’s Meals Deserts Study About Vitamin and Assist Educate Mother and father – Information – The Florida Instances-Union

Rashard Scott, 9, knows everything about go food and slow food.

As part of a six-week curriculum at his school in Jacksonville, Tiger, he learned go food – the healthiest kind like apple – and slow food – the sugar-added stuff like applesauce – and all sorts of other nutrition academies. Next, his parents learn what he has learned, and they are given space in the garden to grow their own fresh food.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “We learn new things that we will need for our lives … and when we grow up and teach our children.”


Rashard is in the first phase of a new initiative led by the White Harvest Farms Educational Center, an outreach of the Clara White Mission. The Farm-to-School program introduces the youth to the basic elements of health and nutrition, horticulture and agriculture, kitchen safety and equipment, food preparation, food demonstration and food etiquette, taught by trained professionals in the culinary and agricultural industries.

The program is aimed at school-age students and parents who live in so-called food desert communities and have little or no access to affordable, fresh food and produce such as parts of North Jacksonville. The schools currently participating are in this area: Rashards Tiger Academy and St. Clair Evans and Carter G. Woodson Elementary Schools.

Farm to School will “help our youth do what they are capable of,” said Ed Perez, mission chairman. “This is an exciting time for all of us.”

The parenting workshops, other activities, and the family garden will be held at White Harvest Farms on Moncrief Road, said Mission CEO Ju’Coby Pittman.

“After you’ve completed the six weeks [school nutrition curriculum]You will be coming here with your parents in a moment. We also have to train the parents, “she said.

Families will receive healthy eating gift cards and a “range” to grow their own fresh produce on the farm’s 15 acres, she said. The farm will also introduce potential US Department of Agriculture grants to their children.

Since 2012, volunteers and those participating in downtown Mission training programs have been growing crops such as vegetables, squash, tomatoes, onions, and melons on the municipal farm near Moncrief Creek. The mission later expanded their farmland with soil on the north bank of the creek near Nash Road.

The North Jacksonville neighborhood was part of a major pollution clean-up project about 15 years ago as it had been contaminated decades earlier. Ashes from municipal waste incinerators were buried or spread there and, according to Times Union reports, were loaded onto the ground with lead, arsenic and industrial chemicals.

The yard was cleaned years ago.

This land with such a history is now being used to “provide food and sustenance,” said Perez, “is just amazing.”

The initiative is supported by a contingent of community partners including the city, University of Florida / Duval County Extension Service, Florida Blue, Chase, and Bank of America. Farm to School received a competitive scholarship of $ 30,000 from the Meninak Club of Jacksonville, club spokesman Lock Ireland said.

“Nutrition, education and it’s for kids,” he said. “A lot of people in the church will begin to see what is happening. As a result, a lot is given. It is given in the right church by the right people.”

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Like Rashard, Chase Rfford (11) and Octavis Robinson (10) have become experts in healthy eating.

Junk food can be eaten occasionally, Chase said, as long as you also exercise, “so you lose the added fat.” But the best approach, he said, is “always eat healthy”.

Octavis said he and his friends are happy to lead the indictment.

“We should all know about nutrition and eat healthier,” he said.

Beth Reese Cravey: (904) 359-4109

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