[Vancouver School Board] Sustainable Food Security Run by Students


Vancouver students in the Vancouver School District are spending their summers volunteering in the Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership. These youth will be able to work on innovative projects providing food to students and families in need in light of the COVID19 pandemic. Here, they will be both learning skills and providing meaningful service to local families during this time.

Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership

Vancouver youth in the district are taking advantage of their summers despite COVID19. They are presently learning leadership skills in the Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership, a 6-week program all about taking on leadership positions in amazing programs focused on sustainability in Vancouver.

In fact, this program provides secondary students with an entrepreneurial experience where they learn to grow, cook and sell food in their local communities. It is run by Fresh Roots and runs out of the Vancouver Technical Secondary.

“If you pass by the farms at Vancouver Technical and David Thompson, you’ll see us hard at work in the boiling sun. Shovelling and weeding yet laughing throughout,” says Gaston Ibarra, a Grade 10 student at Windermere Secondary.

COVID19 and Program Operations

This year this program is changing to meet WorkSafe BC requirements. The program modifications will ensure the safety and growth of all in the program. Students will be unable to do some previous program activities, like field trips, but they will be working on Fresh Root’s food security initiatives.

“This year the size of the crews at SOYL have changed,” says Tathali Urueta-Ortiz, Fresh Roots Youth Curriculum and Empowerment Manager. “Instead of five students in each crew, this year we have three or four.” There are currently 26 students from the Vancouver School District that are involved in the program this year.

LunchLAB: Chefs for Families

“Students are working with the LunchLAB: Chefs for Families program and package meals for Thursday distribution and deliveries,” she adds. In addition, students learn to sell produce at the new Fresh Roots Pop-up Market and tend community gardens at nearby schools.

LunchLAB: Chefs for Families is a program that cooks and delivers meals to families in need during the pandemic. In fact, they are providing more than 5,000 meals to 260 families each week. This program is providing nourishment as well as training for students, chefs and professionals in the program.

Vancouver students are providing an amazing service during their own summers! LunchLAB is serving up nutritious meals for those who need it. This is while teaching students relevant project and leadership skills for use later in life. What an outstanding opportunity for students during a very different summer, giving back is always an option despite great changes occurring at this moment.

Read the original on: Vancouver School Board

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