Neighborhood Health Story: Empowering a generation through healthy food | Aetna



our mission is to be the urban agriculture and community gardening resource of Asheville and Vulcan County my name is Nicole Hine BA and I'm the program director with bountiful cities we're part of a number of different collaborative initiatives that are working to achieve food sovereignty how can we grow enough food right here for people to be able to eat and meet their food needs education is extremely important and that's why programs like feast and like strong roots are crucial I'm summer Weldon and I'm the cooking and garden teacher for a feast at holitzer elementary we have a pretty diverse group of kids that go to this school this was the most economically challenged school it had the highest percentage of free and reduced lunch kids are dealing with different stress and different trauma for different reasons the garden is a place where they can decompress and be connected to the natural world being able to make choices that are healthier choices or to put something in your body that makes you feel good versus just putting something in your body is really important having this school-based program where students get the opportunity to play with zucchini they get to dissect it they get to taste it raw they get to taste it in all these different ways and kids really like that freedom to do things they get super excited they come running up to you and like what are we gonna make today and how can we do this we bring in multicolored carrots so purple and yellow and thinking about how they taste and that the color of the carrot doesn't actually change the fact that it's still a carrot we can talk about that in the differences and say it's just like us if you look around we're all different we don't have to judge ourselves on those things and what we look like foods the same way it's such a great tool for education and it's such a great tool for just self-reflection like you have a kid that's gonna go sit in the garden that's pretty good

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