The Edible Schoolyard San Francisco Boys & Girls Club, Willie Mays Clubhouse, Hunters Point held a Garden Celebration on Oct. 16 with guest chef Bryant Terry. Guests were treated to healthy bites from various organic food vendor stations around the garden, along with live music and tours of the gardens. Eco-chef, food justice activist, and author, Bryant Terry and Willie Mays Boys & Girls Clubs members held their own cooking demonstrations with tastings. Children and their families enjoyed “kid friendly” food and outdoor activities throughout the afternoon.
An organic teaching garden and kitchen program at The Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club, The Edible Schoolyard at Hunters Point opened in 2008 as the first after-school program in the country to become an affiliate of the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley. Edible Schoolyard is a program of the Chez Panisse Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Alice Waters, restaurateur, chef, author and food activist, with a mission to create and sustain an organic garden and landscape that is wholly integrated into the school’s curriculum, culture, and food program in an effort to awaken children’s senses and encourage awareness and appreciation of the transformative values of nourishment, community, and stewardship of the land.
For just $10 a year, members from nine Clubhouses have access to a 2,000-square-foot garden and cooking classes taught by a professional chef. With alcohol, tobacco and junk food being the most prevalently sold product in Bayview Hunters Point, BVHP residents are hospitalized more than residents of any other neighborhoods for almost every disease, including diet-related illnesses. More than 250 Club members participate in the cooking and gardening program every year at The Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club and attend educational field trips to local farms and farmer’s markets.
The Edible Schoolyard San Francisco Boys & Girls Club, Willie Mays Clubhouse, Hunters Point is doing its part to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and help Bay Area children develop lifelong healthy eating habits, which should give you reason enough to support the Club. But if you need anymore convincing, check out these results:
- 90 percent of members’ parents citywide said the staff encourage their child to eat healthy snacks instead of junk food.
- 78 percent of the regular ESY participants reported that they like vegetables more than when they first started the program.
- 61 percent tried a new vegetable for the first time at the Club.
Learn more about The Edible Schoolyard by visiting www.chezpanissefoundation.org/san-francisco.