Currently, St. Croix imports over 97% of the food sold in the stores on island, making it very dependent upon outside resources to feed a whole community. Food insecurity is a reality for many and there is a large population which relies heavily on government supported programs for food access. However, this does not always mean that those foods are the most nutritious for our bodies and especially our children. We want to encourage our families and community to switch the cycle to become more independent and able to provide for ourselves, especially in times of disaster during hurricane season. By offering our produce at the farm stand we aim to lead by example for other schools and organizations to do the same and get more healthy food on the plates of our youth.
The Edible Schoolyard program is a great model for students and the community to connect to nature and replenish the abundance of the environment we live in. By learning about fresh produce growing outside, we hope to inspire our students, families and others to grow their own food and support local farmers on the island. Exposing the youth to gardening and farming at a young age will have a positive impact on their relationship with food and health overall. Our teachers will engage with the students in the garden each week and include lessons that give them an understanding about the food cycle. We will use the food grown from the garden to create recipes in the classroom, as well as open a garden stand business to raise money for our non-profit school. This will not only teach our children about growing food but also how to create a successful space to learn about leadership, finance and community service. We also plan to host workshops to educate the parents and community of the school.