Food For Thought

 

On May 21, Brainfood’s Class of 2015 Community MVPs had their graduation ceremony at their Mount Vernon Square site. Brainfood’s Community MVP program teaches returning Brainfood students how to lead their own workshops on healthy eating in the community. The program builds off the culinary skills learned in the first year, and places an additional emphasis on community service.

 “I learned how to cook on a budget and make nutritious recipes,” said Jordyn, 16. “I learned to project my voice and look at people when they’re talking.”

 Brainfood MVP students and their families share a meal to commemorate the end of the program/Photo by Holly Leber

Brainfood MVP students and their families share a meal to commemorate the end of the program/Photo by Holly Leber

“It caused my baby girl to come out of her shell,” added Jordyn’s mother, Jerret Wright. “It has given her confidence—I appreciate the culinary skills and the nutritional knowledge. It’s done wonders for her.”

The students spend the fall designing workshops and learning teaching techniques, and in the spring identify community groups in need of food education resources and deliver their workshops to them.

Over the course of the year, the 11 members of the class led 12 community workshops focused on healthy eating that reached over 350 people. Even more impressive? The 11 class members have logged 3,000 hours of community service in the past eight months.

 A map displays where Brainfood MVP students served their community/Photo by Holly Leber

A map displays where Brainfood MVP students served their community/Photo by Holly Leber

I see people respond to you. You illuminate things, you make things better. You bring light into my life,” Kim, a volunteer, told the students. “I don’t want you to let anybody say that you can’t do something. We believe in our core that every one of you has value and we appreciate the effort you made. It’s important that you know that.” (Next)

About the Author: Marisa Weidner is a graduate of The College of William and Mary. She has volunteered as a teacher in Belize, and in homeless shelters in the United States. Marisa chronicles her explorations of DC on her blog, The Curated City

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