Baton Rouge, La. -- October 13, 2020 -- Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced Wednesday the groundbreaking of a half-acre school garden at Capitol High School.
The garden is a result of the collaboration of Geaux Get Healthy, a program out of the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, and the Baton Roots community farm. This collaboration will implement community farms at Capitol High School, Glen Oaks High School, and Scotlandville High School.
“Geaux Get Healthy’s collaboration with community stakeholders allows us to address food access in Baton Rouge. Through our school garden programs, we are empowering our youth with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to cultivate nutritious foods,” said Mayor Broome. “Our work here is allowing us to improve access to healthy foods, and create a stronger foundation for our community here in Baton Rouge.”
Through a partnership with Baton Roots Community Farm and Geaux Get Healthy, the Hustle and Grow program will work with schools to teach local students how to grow fresh food. The Hustle and Grow program provides youth the opportunity to develop necessary leadership, business, and agriculture skills in an effort to empower the next generation of leaders.
The program aims to empower youth and improve food access by introducing farming directly into the community rather than having to rely solely on sourcing grocery stores in food deserts throughout Baton Rouge.
In addition to horticulture lessons, students engaged in the Hustle and Grow program will learn healthy eating habits and how to cook the produce grown on the farm.
“Baton Roots focus is as much on food access as it is on farming. With all the high schools we’re working with, we hope to continue to empower residents to take food and health directly into their hands,” said Mitchell Provensal, Program Coordinator of Baton Roots.
All of the food grown through this partnership will be distributed to the communities surrounding the three partner schools.