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Food security seeds sown in Richmond youth

Get Rooted program aims itself at the city's youth

A new youth program has taken root, hoping to grow the next generation of food security generals in the city.

Richmond Food Security has launched “Get Rooted,” a community-based leadership pilot project aimed at producing a crop of sustainability conscious and productive youth.

The project kicked off a couple of weeks ago with about 10 participants aged between 17 and 25 and will run until the end of the summer.

In that time, the program assistant, Lucinda Yeung, said the youth will get a taste of food security; “prompting them to think about the food system and how we can contribute to it.

“We wanted to get more youth involved in volunteering and food security issues in the city,” said Leung of the program, which is supported financially by the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council.

“I did a bit of research and realized there was growing interest, but there wasn’t really a space where youth could come together and learn about food and use it as a platform to find out about sustainability.”

The program is aimed at youth who believe food is an important part of everyday lives and culture and that everyone should have access to safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods.

Having a drive to put your ideas into action and affect change was also a pre-requisite for the program.

In return, the program pledges to give participants the knowledge needed to weigh in on current food-related social and environmental issues; leadership skills in project development and opportunities to put their ideas to work and to take action.

“Richmond has a very important role to play in global food sustainability and these participants can be a part of that,” added Yeung.

“During a series of (weekly) workshops, led by leaders in the food security field, they get access to knowledge that’s not usually out there, as well as a number of excellent volunteering opportunities with our partners.

“It’s not quite hands-on yet, but it will be in a couple of weeks; once they’ve been out in the community volunteering.

“This is just a starting point; planting a seed.”

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