Nashville Students Learn About Healthier Food Options - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Students Learn About Healthier Food Options

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's not often that city kids get their hands dirty on a farm, but through the YMCA's partnership with Hands on Nashville, that's exactly what four dozen middle school students have been doing all summer.

They've planted seeds that are beginning to blossom.

"We're finding even if we're giving people free healthy food they're making choices to pay cheap prices for processed convenient food," Josh Corlew, Hands on Nashville Urban Agriculture Program Director said.

Most of the students live in East Nashville, in areas that are considered "food deserts" where it's hard to find fresh fruits and vegetables.

"We tried the mint and the garlic," camper Michaela Hills said. "The garlic was very strong. It was nasty."

Not only are they learning where their food comes from, they are learning why it's important to make healthier choices.

"We're starting to have obese kids and that's not good," camper Revontae Musgrave explained.

Like the seeds they've planted, organizers hope something else takes root.

"So maybe we're planting a small seed of love and compassion and engaging your community," said Allison Hurst, Y-CAP Program Coordinator.

"At my house we've been trying to make like a garden," Musgrave said about the changes his family is beginning to make as a result of his involvement in the program. "Because us growing is better than what they have in the stores because they have all these kind of chemicals and stuff."

What they harvest is a better understanding of how to make something from practically nothing and share the benefits with their entire community.

The issue is so important, Tuesday the State Department of Education announced it's receiving $3 million in federal funds to get more fruits and vegetables in the hands of low income students.

Nineteen Metro schools will participate in the program where in addition to lunch, students will receive extra servings of those healthier foods throughout the day.

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