We were given permission to talk about the POTENTIAL for this unbelievable GIFT! [slideshow]
Hey everyone! Please help us as we HOLD this vision - RootDown LA may very well have a new home next year (yes we mean a HOUSE and a GARDEN, and even neighboring ROOSTERS!) just one block from Jefferson High School where we currently base our operations - getting kids to eat their nasty veggies before we train them to be advocates for healthy food in their communities.
For YEARS! RootDown LA has been scrapping for a place to operate. Kelley Budding, our most amazing Title One Coordinator at Jefferson High has made it INFINITELY easier to get a foothold in a public high school, where classroom space is at a premium and folks get a wee bit territorial once they've finally been given a place to teach. We've been kicked (kindly) out of classrooms and shuffled about with our portable stoves and lightweight cutting boards - just hoping we might have proximity to a sink to wash our dishes. Heck, we were SO happy this year, just to receive a cupboard for storage, and some tables to cook on... What kind of world do we live in, we sometime wonder, where people who do good, have to fight people who do good, for space to do good things?
Well TODAY we regained faith... that others value the good work we do when we met with the Community Redevelopment Association of Los Angeles, to tour the Ralph Bunche house, just one block from Jefferson High. The house has been left in a trust to the community; the owner hoped the community would find good use for the house. Our conversations today lead us to believe - we will VERY LIKELY get to design (well, our architect friend, Michael Pinto will design) a home base for RootDown LA in this house. We envision - students and neighbors dropping in to eat, and learn to cook and grow healthy food, gain skills to design and grow their own gardens, and even create ART to make this space one that supports healthier brains, bodies and hearts!
We are so ready to GO! We have our RootDown LA board member, Mark Stambler, and entrepreneurial trainer, Ledette Gambini (both pro bakers), as well as our RootDown Youth Leaders with their mad culinary skills - all just waiting to COOK food in what will likely be a COMMERCIAL kitchen. Watch out neighbors! Very soon we may be producing local foods, from local crops - in our ongoing effort to build demand for and now create the SUPPLY of local healthy food in South LA.
Of special note - when we got back to school today after our meeting, we were THRILLED to see Jefferson's basketball and football coaches grilling chicken hot dogs for their players who need "a balanced meal" as they put it, before they hit the fields today. We told them, "Soon guys! We'll ALL dine together just down the road. Healthy food for all!"
Woo to the Nth time HOO! is what we say.
We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, we KNOW there are people out there who are just ITCHING to donate time, commercial kitchen equipment, and funds to such a cause. Drop us a line, come eat with us. We'll talk!