FOOD MOXIE empowers children, youth, and families with the values and knowledge to be healthy, strong, and informed through experiential activities focused on urban agriculture, nutrition, and the cooperative economy. Our farm and nutrition education programs define our work and focus on sustainable urban farming, promoting the value of locally produced food grown without pesticides and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet.
The Hope Garden at Stenton Family Manor was established in 2009 to improve the nutritional value of meals for residents by growing fresh produce for the kitchen, as well as to provide a safe space where young residents could take part in structured gardening and nutrition activities in Garden Club. In order to have a deeper and more lasting impact on families, programming has expanded to include Hope Kitchen, a culinary program providing practical guidance for how to eat healthy while on a budget. The curriculum focuses on nutrition, developing healthy eating habits, shopping on a budget, and healthy cooking skills while engaging all family members in the process of preparing and enjoying healthy meals together. The Hope Garden partnership with Stenton was the first of its kind in Philadelphia, and the first production and education garden for families experiencing homelessness.
The Hope Farm at Martin Luther King High School began in 2014 to teach life skills related to urban farming and nutrition to students with intellectual disabilities (ID) and autism. This horticultural therapy program provides experiential learning that connects classroom lessons with real-life application, focusing on practical and vocational life skills that lead to increased independence. Through the process of working in the garden and greenhouse, students learn valuable life skills such as cooperatively completing tasks, following multi-step directions, developing fine and gross motor functions, and learning food production, simple meal preparations, and how to make healthy choices—all skills necessary for living independent lives and building self‐confidence.
Youth Leadership Development at W.B. Saul High School takes place in collaboration with Saul High School and the Weavers Way Farm/Henry Got Crops CSA, which serves as an outdoor classroom and land lab. The farm is the setting for hands‐on experiential learning related to small-scale urban farm production, as well as how to prepare and enjoy nutritious food. Each year, FOOD MOXIE works with over 300 Saul students—and their teachers—to connect classroom learning to real-life application. The program has expanded to include paid summer internships and an out-of-school time (OST) component that promote youth leadership, life skills, and professional development through community‐based projects related to small‐scale urban agriculture, health, and nutrition. Students learn to grow, cook, and eat fresh foods, while also becoming community leaders in promoting healthy lifestyles, and a just and sustainable food system.