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BANK ON IT: Food Bank For New York City's Blog

NYC Youth Forum

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.

It’s Spring! Time to Dance!

by Daniel Buckley

Finally, it seems safe to say that spring is here! The sun is coming back, it’s getting warmer and little green shoots are appearing in gardens…and our CookShop Classroom for Elementary School students are learning about how those little sprouts will grow to become food.

An important aspect of CookShop, the Food Bank’s core nutrition education program for low-income children, teens and adults, is helping participants find out where food comes from. To learn about where fruit and vegetables grow, students read letters from farmers. To learn about how they grow, they dance!

Carrie Hildebrand, CookShop Site Monitoring Coordinator and star of our “’Like’ PSA,”  demonstrates the  Essentials of Growth Dance. The dance is a fun way for students to visualize and remember the five things plants need to grow: sun, soil, water, air and (of course) love and care. In our Plant Life Cycle Dance, our Volunteer Services Manager and blogger Brian Pham helps our students visualize and remember the six parts of a plant – seed, roots, stem, leaves, flower and fruit – and each part’s function in the plant life cycle.

So, in honor of the new season, take a moment out of your day, take a step back from your desk or that couch, and enjoy a little dancing!


The Essentials for Growth Dance! 

The Plant Life Cycle Dance!


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