[slideshow] The high schoolers who took the PSATs at Jefferson High last Saturday rolled out of their classrooms looking less than thrilled. "Was it awful?" we asked. "Yup." they confirmed. They'd heard they were going to get a little food refueling by RootDown LA after their tests.
"Got a donut?" the first girl who reached us asked. "Are you kidding?" we laughed. We love donuts. We don't, however feed them to kids to refuel them after PSATs. Sorry.
Slowly though, the kids lined up to receive samples of our homemade salsa, veggie quesadillas and Mediterranean veggie wraps. While standing in line, we entertained them with our lively nutrition lessons. We used the bags of chips they pulled out of their back packs, to compare those ingredients with the ones in our food that day.
Teachers, families, all started to gather around for our food mural lesson. They were amazingly willing to engage in conversation about how the food system has changed. How we're eating too many processed foods and not enough whole foods. How we're getting a lot of calories and sugar and additives nowadays, but not all the nutrients that fresh fruits and vegetables can supply.
One family in particular, the Carventes, stuck around to discuss at length, what RootDown LA is up to in the school and surrounding community. "You have a garden? Here at Jeff?" the father asked in Spanish (our kids are stellar translators). "Si, un jardín." we confirmed. We've started to cook and work there after school on Tuesdays. He looked at his son and told him ,"You should go there next week." We agreed.
Thanks to the Network for a Healthy California, whose 3 year grant is allowing us to expand our programming further into the community to reach not only students but their parents and all our neighbors surrounding Jefferson High School. RootDown LA - you're gonna wanna eat your veggies!