A Food Justice unit of study for seven-year olds? In my second grade classroom in January of 2014, students began to think about food systems in Los Angeles. After a trip to the neighborhood supermarket produce section and some in depth study of the impact of both organic and conventionally grown fruits and veggies, our second grade students met with their high school buddies to discuss what they had learned. “Why doesn’t everyone eat organically grown, locally sourced produce if it is better for the environment, the farm workers and the people who consume the food? Our teenage buddy class had some answers. Sometimes organic produce is unavailable in certain neighborhoods (in cities, these are usually under-served, black and brown neighborhoods). Sometimes organic produce is too expensive for consumers to buy.
Both groups of students decided that this unfair food system was not acceptable to them and they were motivated to teach others about what they had learned. And the Food Justice, Food Card Project was born! Our mixed groups of public/private school students created posters, food cards with messages about food justice and action steps about things individuals can do to become food justice activists in a video they created.
Be inspired by the children. Be the change.