ALEXANDRIA, LA.- Studies show childhood obesity is a serious epidemic in America, especially among young children. So, a couple of organizations here at home are doing their part to help promote the message of healthy living.
And to do it, they're getting their hands a little dirty.
For Lori Garton, it's all about the garden. The Good Food Project's organic garden that is. Since it's opening in September, their goal is to not only provide fresh food for the food bank, but to also spread the word about the benefits of organic gardening, especially to the kids.
"The way it is now, there's not a lot of kids that know where their food comes from. You could show them a vegetable and they might not recognize it," says Garton.
Donations for this garden and its plan worked so well, that another group has stepped forward to give money, and help turn empty spaces into gardens.
It all stems from one of the goals of the Rapides Foundation, which is giving The Good Food Project a $25,000 grant to encourage healthy living. And The Good Food Project is going to help nurture that message at gardens at the Hope House, the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club.
"It will make available fresh fruits and vegetables. There is the physical activity from doing the gardening itself, and also just to educate and hopefully encourage the children they serve to eat healthier, more fruits and vegetables," says Joe Rosier of the Rapides Foundation.
At the Boys and Girls Club of CenLa, both the kids and the adults are excited about the vegetables, and the ideas that will be harvested in their new garden.
"I believe that we can do hands on learning. Math skills, science with the composting, so I'm really excited. This is one of my pet projects, so I'm really excited about the gardening initiative," says Dominic Bradford of the Boys and Girls Club.
The idea is just beginning to sprout, but with a little green and a lot of TLC, The Good Food Project is well on its way to growing into full-bloom.
"Instead of dreaming about gardens in the future, we can do it right now," adds Garton.
The Good Food Project says that sites have been selected at all three locations. They hope to break ground within a week.