We know that young people in White Center experience barriers to accessing fresh and nutritious food, and that’s one of the reasons why FEEST chose Evergreen High School as a site for our programs. Last school year we assembled the White Center Healthy Food Round Table committee to learn more about what students experience both inside and outside of school. Based on what we heard from students, parents, teachers, and community members, FEEST is recommending policy changes in the school district that can address the challenges students are facing.
Link: Check out our memo with key findings from the community survey as well as our policy recommendations to the district.
But we didn’t stop there. This school year we started a pilot project at Evergreen in partnership with Lee’s Produce (home of our #EatReal mural) to provide free healthy snacks to students every week through November. With a mighty crew of volunteers, FEEST has been delivering fresh produce and fruit bars to every single classroom for students to eat in their 6th period classes or take home. We’ve been collecting feedback surveys from teachers to see how it’s been going. Here are the highlights so far.
This quote from Evergreen teacher Jeanette Eisenberg says it all:
“The 6th Period Snack Program has improved student alertness, engagement, and positivity not only in my 6th Period Class, but for all my classes. Before this snack program, I would have at least one student who was hungry in each class period. This usually prevented them from engaging in their work. Now that the snacks are prominently displayed and provide a healthy option, students grab what they need before reaching the point of hunger. Since the program started, I have not had a single student comment about how hungry they are. I have also heard students comment on how the fruits from the snack program are actually good quality and not ‘cheap’ or ‘leftovers’ or ‘gross tasting.’
There have even been days when the class played a game and I gave out chocolate as a prize and a student commented that I should give out fruit because it’s better for them!”