Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach to celebrate the opening of a new educational organic garden and ‘Farm to Kids’ program. The STEM-inspired program, sponsored by Green Thumb Mowers, teaches Club members how to grow and consume organic foods and understand how the implementation of a healthy nutritional diet can break the pattern of obesity. The program also focuses on mental wellbeing by allowing children to be outside and become more connected to their environment.
“We know when we’re able to educate children about the importance of developing healthy eating habits, we can change the trajectory of their lives, said Ben Feldman, owner of Green Thumb Mowers. “Once we heard about the garden program at the Delray Beach Club, we immediately knew we wanted to help them.”
The seed for this program was planted in the minds of Advisory Board member Joyce DeMoose, and Outgoing Advisory Board President John Backer one afternoon while walking the grounds of the Delray Beach Club shortly after the pandemic began. They targeted an unutilized area perfect for a garden after learning about the success of a ‘Farm to Kids’ program at Boys & Girls Clubs’ Smith & Moore Family Teen Center in Belle Glade. Once joining forces with Ben Feldman of Green Thumb Mowers, their entire plan began to sprout.
“With all the social distancing issues the Club members were experiencing since the pandemic we knew we had to get them outside, away from their devices and working together learning how to make healthier choices for their bodies and minds,” said Advisory Board member, Joyce DeMoose. “We’re teaching them skills they can carry for a lifetime.”
After a successful gardening partnership at the Smith & Moore Family Teen Center, FreshRx created the new imaginative curriculum for the Delray Beach Program, focusing on younger Club members and their mental wellbeing in mind.
“Fresh Rx is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to fresh, nutritious produce that may improve their health, especially youth and particularly those youth who are food insecure,” said Margaret Duriez, co-founder of FreshRx. “Partnering with Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County helps us do exactly that!”
Currently, Delray Beach Club program includes 20 second-grade children and has plans to expand to older Club members in the near future with cooking classes. At the ribbon cutting. members received a participation medal and harvested the first crops to take home from the new garden.