SFC is proud to partner with many community groups, individuals, and foundations to strengthen our local food system and cultivate a healthy community. Among our valued partners is the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation's Connections for Cardiovascular Health℠ program that provides funding for SFC to stem the prevalence of cardiovascular disease by targeting obesity and nutrition issues.
We appreciate the support of AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, and all our partners, which in the first 6 months of this fiscal year have allowed SFC to reach 350 cooking class participants in The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre®, 230 gardening class participants, 30,000 SFC Farmers’ Market shoppers, including 175 WIC and SNAP users participating in double value matching program, 2,622 unduplicated Farm to Work customers, 120 Wellness Team Members at 15 elementary schools, and 37,000 Sprouting Healthy Kids and Farm to School students at 47 Austin ISD schools.
This month we sent our annual holiday letter from our client Silvia Moreno, parent of Jordan Elementary Student, Salvador Gloria Moreno, who is directly benefiting from these programs. Here is what Silvia had to say:
Not every school in Austin has the resources it needs to keep its students healthy. Fresh produce in the cafeteria, lessons about what food is best for our bodies, and hands-on school gardens where a child can literally see how a vegetable grows from a tiny seed—and this is where Sustainable Food Center comes in.
Did you know that SFC’s Spread the Harvest project offers free seeds, compost and plant starts to nearly 10,000 people a year? They also provide hands-on, bilingual, organic food gardening training to individuals, families and schools in need of this vital education.
SFC started providing resources to Jordan Elementary two years ago – I got involved because I like plants, and it was here at the school, which made it convenient. We learned a good bit because we didn’t know anything about some of these plants. They came to teach us how to plant fruit trees and vegetables to grow our own food.
The best part about the experience for me living in this community was meeting more people--other mothers that came out to help in the garden. SFC’s help came at a critical time, because the school didn’t have the resources for things like soil and plants. We also saw more fruits and vegetables in the school cafeteria than in years before. In March, SFC started a farmers’ market at the YMCA East at 51st St. and 183, where there had never been a market with organic fruits and vegetables nearby.
My primary interest in getting involved was because of Salvador – the doctor told me he had early signs of diabetes, and I was worried for his health. I started becoming interested in making changes--more fruits and vegetables and exercise, to lose weight and take care of his health. We’re working on this. One day, Salvador said to me, “I want to have more energy to play outside.”
From that moment on, it was all about “fun and healthy”— kids and adults together, planting and harvesting fresh, local produce. As a mom, it matters to me how my child’s school environment is helping or harming his health. SFC is a partner to us and to our school in preventing childhood obesity. Won’t you support them with a gift today? Thank you for ensuring that we continue to Spread the Harvest!
Parent of Jordan Elementary Student, Salvador Gloria Moreno