By Justin Crum
EATWISE, the Food Bank’s CookShop for Teens program, recently attended and gave a workshop at The Youth Forum & Expo: Food, Farming and Active Living. Guided and planned by a multi-generational group of students, volunteers and nonprofit professionals — and co-sponsored by the Baum Forum and the NYC Food & Fitness Partnership — the event was an overwhelming success.
Most of the youth at the event were already working to make their communities safer, healthier and more productive places. And most who weren’t yet were actively searching out a way to do so. Besides the students' drive to improve themselves and their communities, I was incredibly impressed that they were all there. At a conference. On a beautiful day. During spring break.
They were there not only to find internships and jobs for the summer, but also to give presentations about the work they were already doing. They gave workshops on everything from starting farmer’s markets to starting businesses, planting to cooking and changing their own eating habits to changing the food their school serves. And their excitement was contagious.
I catch the same feeling when visiting our EATWISE chapter schools. For many people, loud high school hallways filled with groups of young people are anything but energizing — but once the students focus in on something positive, their drive and clarity can be astounding. We’re very proud to have been part of this great event, and of our EATWISE students for the passion and energy they bring to their work.