This month two of our Investees connected for a project that is reaching kids in one of the city’s highest-need areas, South LA. GrowingGreat built a brand-new school garden at the Synergy Charter Academy campus, which is shared with the students from Quincy Jones Elementary. In partnership with Enrich LA, parents, kids, and community volunteers helped build raised garden beds where students will plant and tend a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs as part of their classroom curriculum.
On building day, GrowingGreat staff gave Synergy students and their families a hands-on lesson about healthy eating habits by serving nutritious foods. Throughout the year, the garden will serve as a learning tool to help students understand where food comes from and the purpose it serves in overall health and well-being.
Nutrition education is a crucial service in South LA, where the number one cause of death is coronary heart disease. The area is considered one of America’s “food deserts,” where there is limited access to fresh, healthy foods. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention found that in South and East LA, there is one grocery store for every 6,000 residents, compared to one for every 3,800 residents in West LA. Stores in lower income areas offer fewer healthy choices, like low-fat snacks and lean meats. The GrowingGreat garden at Synergy Charter Academy will not only serve as a great learning tool, but an important new source of local healthy foods.