As I write this in early July, the Food Moxie summer youth program has moved online for 2020 in collaboration with Saul High School, The U School, and 8th and Poplar Farm in Northern Liberties to support 21 youth around Philadelphia with paid summer employment opportunities. We are providing five Saul youth with summer jobs that allow them to expand their growing and cooking knowledge, create resumes and explore career pathways associated with sustainable agriculture and green jobs.
We are so excited for this collaboration, which allows us to share our resources and our youth to benefit from our partners’ resources. All of the youth have received container gardens, pantry staples, cooking equipment and other supplies to support hands-on experiences from home that will expand their knowledge while keeping them safe during COVID-19. They are also experiencing live Google Classroom experiences with various interviewees in different related careers.
In other updates, we distributed summer plants as part of our ongoing work to support local community food security. We shared thousands of seedlings with home gardeners during our bi-weekly Martin Luther King High produce box distribution, and we will schedule another seedling share in mid-August. Our staff is also working hard to maintain our four growing spaces that have already provided over 1,500 pounds of organically-grown greens, culinary herbs and flowers. I am grateful for the amazing work that Brandon and Dorene have been doing to keep our spaces bountiful and welcoming, and for the behind-the-scenes work being done by Michelle.
To date, we have also distributed over 40,000 pounds of locally-grown produce to families of students and residents in emergency housing. Recently the requests for home deliveries to food-insecure students have doubled. If you would like to help us with produce deliveries to homebound students and receive working member hours, please sign up for cooperator shifts with Food Moxie for our home delivery driver slots, available every other week on Wednesdays through at least the end of the month.
Thank you to all our supporters, including Co-op staff, our board, and all those who have donated to support our programs during these uncertain times. We are grateful as we continue to plan meaningful programs, both online and in person, using best practices for social distancing.