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Inspiring

Teens Help Change Neighborhood's Health Crisis

May 7th, 2018

All too often, poorer communities are faced with bad health outcomes.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, many low-income areas have a lack of places where it’s possible to buy healthy food, like fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, people in low-income areas have less money to spend on food than others. Therefore, they are often forced to buy processed or low-quality food. This then leads to poor health.

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Flickr/ RachelC.Photography Source: Flickr/ RachelC.Photography

That’s exactly what was happening in South Los Angeles. This community has the highest level of poverty in the Los Angeles area. Unsurprisingly, it also has the worst health outcomes.

But instead of just recognizing the problem and ignoring it, high school kids in the community are taking a stand. They are trying to make a difference in the health of their community, and they are doing it by working in a state-of-the-art greenhouse. This greenhouse is on the campus of John C. Fremont High School, and it’s like nothing the community has ever seen before.

The greenhouse is completely custom designed, meaning it’s perfect for its exact spot in the community.

The blinds are automatic, opening and closing all by themselves. And it’s outfitted in all the most recent technology to ensure that it can produce food and teach kids about agriculture in the process. That will help them become leaders in health in their own communities.

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UMMA Community Clinic Source: UMMA Community Clinic

The new facility, an addition to the existing Fremont Wellness Center and Garden, opened in February 2018, and people from all over the community came together to celebrate its arrival. And that’s not the only great service in the area. The Wellness Center and Garden also includes a community clinic, garden, and a small park for the residents of the community. It’s an attempt to build stronger ties and ensure the health of everyone living in the area.

How did this all get started? It was with a program called the Gardening Apprenticeship Program, otherwise known as GAP. The program was designed to teach kids about gardening, farming, healthy living, food justice, and environmental science. The new addition to the program will make a significant impact, as it will encourage more students to participate in the learning opportunities available.

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UMMA Community Clinic Source: UMMA Community Clinic

Now, more inner-city youth will get to learn about the food justice issues facing their community.

They will learn all about how they have limited access to the foods they need to stay healthy, and they can explore ways to improve the health of their community through their own means. Then, they will also participate in growing healthy, organic produce. This further serves the community, as people can then eat the food that is produced.

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UMMA Community Clinic Source: UMMA Community Clinic

The kids who work at the greenhouse will learn all about growing different types of food.

They can then use these skills practically in their own home gardens or even use them to apply to job skills. Through education, these children can learn more about creating a healthier community in a hands-on environment.

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UMMA Community Clinic Source: UMMA Community Clinic

Educators are helping, as well.

They are dedicating their time to teaching these students about all the ways in which eating healthy can improve their lives. That’s why so many community members, local organizations, and educators got together in February to celebrate the opening of the facility.

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UMMA Community Clinic Source: UMMA Community Clinic

With this new and exciting greenhouse in place, the health of the people of South Los Angeles is expected to improve.

This will help not only the current generation but also generations in the years to come.

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Source: Upworthy