YOUTH INSPIRED, DEVELOPED, AND RUN
In 2007, a small group of high school students in a South Los Angeles gathered with the same concern; people in their community were not making healthy food choices, and the number of friends, family, and peers with obesity, diabetes, and other health related illnesses was on the rise.
Deciding to take action, they roamed the school halls, hanging the food pyramid, and talking about trans-fats but they soon realized this wouldn't convince people to put down the chips and pick up the veggies. Rather than give up, these kids sought out public health and nutrition educators who were doing innovative work in LA and SF, in hopes of creating a program that could make a bigger impact.
Throughout the year, these youth and their new partners met regularly with chef's knives, over cutting boards and veggies, to develop hands-on activities that instantly began getting other students to eat their veggies. Empowered by their early success, these youth and their teachers kept pushing for MORE - veggies and cooking/nutrition classes. One year later they applied for fiscal sponsorship under Community Partners and RootDown LA was born. Today, 80% of our employees are youth who graduated from these early programs.