High School located in 'Food Desert' gets a garden on campus
BATON ROUGE - A home economics class at McKinley High School is planting a garden on campus to learn the importance of growing their own fruits and vegetables.
The school partnered with Southern University's Agriculture Center SNAP-ED program, which teaches nutrition education classes in the parish. The program partnered with McKinley because it's a school located in a "food desert" where fresh produce is scarce.
"We have three citrus trees, we have blueberries, strawberries, mint, thyme," says Home Economics teacher, Kiera Deloch.
For the past two years, nutrition educators have worked with the teacher and students on teaching students how to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
"We don't have any nearby grocery stores and so there's no access to a grocery store, fresh fruits, or vegetables. So, we decided to choose this site here," says Nutrition Educator Marquetta Anderson.
Monday morning students rolled up their sleeves and laid the soil down to plant vegetables and flowers. This opportunity has shown students how to take charge of living a better lifestyle by planting their own food.
"It's easier to plant instead of going out to buy food because you can save money and it's healthier because it's natural," says Junior Nijadrica McCarver.
Not only will the garden be an addition to the home economics classes, but other science-related classes will use the garden for instructional purposes.
"The environmental science classes will also work on the soil, test the soil levels. So it's going to be an area in which a lot of different classes can incorporate it into there lessons and come out and get hands-on experience," says Deloch.
The garden will be a permanent addition. Students will also use the vegetables to learn how to cook new recipes.