Working With Their Hands

Mikayla (17) and Taylor (16) thought they were interviewing for an office internship when they pulled up to Nalwoodi Denzhone Community (NDC) which, through a community garden and farmer’s market, food production, and arts and youth education programs, is a source of hope and pride for the people of the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

The teens soon realized those nice heels weren’t going to be much help planting vegetables and tending to chickens. “That first day they put us to work,” said Taylor. “Outside!

Mikayla and Taylor outside
Mikayla and Taylor caring for plants

Studies show that teenagers are spending significantly less time participating in outdoor activities than previous generations. At NDC, Mikayla and Taylor learned an appreciation for nature. “Everybody is always just inside, on their phones, and not worrying about things like the environment and a healthier food system. It made me realize there’s so much to do outside,” said Taylor.

They also spent time improving conditions of a nearby orphanage and mentoring kids there. “That made me feel happy,” said Mikayla, “that I was helping these kids, and seeing them smile.”

Newman’s Own proudly supports the Nalwoodi Denzhone Community, which helps transform the lives of Native youth through food production, summer camps and the arts in the San Carlos Apache community in Arizona.

Detroit Cooks

“Kids nowadays just know a lot more about food,” he says. “They have such access to information that we didn’t have when we were younger, so they have higher expectations than we used to.”

Chef Kevin is working to exceed those expectations by elevating his district’s school lunch menu to the level of a college dining hall, with lots of healthy options, as well as items for those on alternative diets. And he’s sourcing many of his ingredients locally. In some cases, very locally.

Detroit Cooks - Chef Kev
Detroit Cooks - Chef Kev

FoodCorps service members are supporting his efforts through a local farm-to-school program, integrating the district’s 2.5-acre Drew Farm—located on the grounds of a vocational school—into the curriculum through field trips, hands-on lessons, and harvesting produce for meals. The FoodCorps team also runs taste tests that give students the chance to try new foods, and provides cafeteria leaders with direct feedback from students.

“What excites me most,” he says, “is the opportunity to introduce kids to foods that they might not have had otherwise. From an equity standpoint, I owe it to my students to ensure that the foods served accurately reflect the ethnic makeup of the district, and also to introduce them to as much of what the culinary world has to offer as I can.”

Newman’s Own proudly supports FoodCorps, which helps to provide food education and nourishing school meals for more than 120,000 students every year.

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