Foodbanking and Farming with Dayton’s Youth
WORK ACTIVITIES 2016
Foodbanking and Farming with Dayton’s Youth classes began in July and concluded for 2016 in November. During this time, 10 classes were held with a total attendance of 115 students ranging in age from 5-15.
Foodbank Dayton SARE Classes July- November, 2016
Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Students spent half a day at The Foodbank working with the Garden Manager. Students transplanted tomato plants, fertilizing, staking, and watering the plants. Students also set up the youth garden beds, filling them with soil and compost and planting lettuces, green onions, and herbs in the beds. Students harvested parsley which was then cleaned and dried and participated in making a Tabbouleh salad using locally grown vegetables.
Student Life Group: Four students aged 14-15.
Students learned about the importance of pollination and honeybee health, tasted different types of honey and learned about different herbs (lavender, lemon basil, thyme, and chamomile) and created an herb sachet to take home. Students colored pictures of honeybees and recorded notes about the honey they tasted in notebooks.
Wesley Community Center: 23 students aged K-2nd grade.
Students looked at nutrition guidelines and discussed healthy eating and snacking. Topics included the importance of consuming fresh produce, both raw and cooked. Good and bad oils and fats were discussed. Students assisted in preparing fresh produce from the garden and cooking raw veggie pizzas.
Wesley Community Center: 17 students aged 3-6th grade.
New students participated in the same lesson as above, but prepared salsa and a green smoothie using fresh produce from the garden.
Wesley Community Center: 12 students aged 7-8th grade.
Students worked in The Foodbank’s pollinator garden and learned how to transplant mature plants into a new space. Soil preparation (mixing peat moss, mushroom compost, and produce compost into unfertilized soil) was also included as a lesson.
Islamic Youth Sisterhood: 8 students, all high school aged.
Global Foods: Brazil
(per Wesley Center’s request The Foodbank conducted a series of lessons focused on global food and agriculture) Students learned about the climate and geology of Brazil, learning what foods are commonly grown in Brazil, and snacking on plantain chips, avocado, and pineapple.
Wesley Community Center: 10 students aged 5-12.
Global Foods: India
Students learned about Indian culture and sampled Indian dishes including rice and curry sauce, chickpeas, and spinach which was harvested from The Foodbank garden.
Wesley Community Center: 5 students aged 5-12.
Global Foods: United States
Students participated in a discussion surrounding hunger and food insecurity in the US and locally. Students participated in a Hunger Access Activity, snacked on apples and caramel and participate in a mock election where they proposed ideas for solving hunger. Wesley Community Center: 5 students aged 5-12.
Students learned the basics of MyPlate and identified foods of MyPlate. Students learned what a sometimes food was and participate in a coloring activity “eating a rainbow”.
Primrose School: 13 students, all kindergarten.
Students of a different class participated in the same lesson above.
Primrose School: 11 students, all kindergarten.
Our staff had a great time working with students and coming up with unique lesson plans that both met the grant requirements and met the needs of the school or community center. The Foodbank surveyed students of Wesley Community Center through a pre-and-post test survey, as the same students participated in all three Global Foods lessons. The results of the survey are included as Attachment I.
Overall, The Foodbank found each SARE class to be incredibly successful and well received by the community. Positive feedback was received from both students and staff of participating schools and community centers.
Project outreach was largely grassroots and focused on targeting local low-income underserved students living in our community. Outreach activities included email blasts to The Foodbank’s 104 nonprofit member agencies, targeted calls to local agencies who serve low-income students, social media posts, and discussions at local meetings. There were no field days or demonstrations conducted.
Wesley Community Center, a Foodbank member agency, was easily reached and engaged as they have little to no funding to provide educational opportunities to their students. All students who attend Wesley Community Center qualify as low-income students and live in urban areas where there is little to no access to community gardens, let alone fresh produce.
Primrose School has been a long-standing partner and supporter of The Foodbank. Although students who attend Primrose do not qualify as low-income, students are very willing and eager to learn.
Student Life and the Islamic Youth Sisterhood group are both new partner groups to The Foodbank. Both groups were made up of older high school students who come from middle-class backgrounds. The students were able to both fulfill volunteer hour requirements and learn something new through their participation in The Foodbank’s SARE programming.
Additionally, The Foodbank hosted three Youth Works students, who worked in the garden throughout the months of July and August. These students, all of which come from low-income households, were employed by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and assisted in day-to-day garden operations including sowing and harvesting produce, maintaining garden beds, and assisting with garden volunteers. Each of the three students concluded their time with The Foodbank in August, leaving with knowledge of common garden practices, land stewardship, and knowledge of how to grow their own produce at home.
WORK PLAN FOR 2017
In November, The Foodbank experienced some staff changes. The organization’s Garden Manager moved on to a new position and our intern who was assisting in creating lesson plans and teaching classes concluded her internship hours in December. As such, The Foodbank is hiring a new Garden Manager effective February 1st. The new Manager, with assistance from Lee Lauren Truesdale, Development & Grants Manager and program manager for this grant, will be responsible for all teaching. Fortunately, The Foodbank’s intern who was working on this project provided additional lesson plans upon her departure that will be used throughout the next year. Below is a thorough work plan for this year.
January-March, 2017: New Garden Manager will begin and get acquainted with role and SARE grant.
April-May, 2017: previous participating schools and community centers will be contacted to assess interest in 2017 participation. Lesson plans will be reviewed and tweaked as necessary. Potential new partners will be contacted including: Kettering Alternative Schools, Mound Street Academy, and 2017 Youth Works.
June-November, 2017: classes will be conducted and students will be surveyed. We have set a target goal of 15 classes throughout the six months.
December, 2017- April, 2018: youth garden beds will be maintained throughout the winter with a cover crop. All lessons and surveys will be complied into a binder for reporting purposes. Grant will conclude and final report will be submitted.