The Edible Schoolyard at Hunters Point, established in 2008, is an organic teaching garden and kitchen program at The Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club. It is the first afterschool program in the country to become a founding affiliate of The Edible Schoolyard Project, which started in Berkeley by Alice Waters. For just $10 a year, cooking and gardening classes are offered to three age groups each week: elementary, middle school, and high school youth. Members from our other eight Clubhouses as well as students from local schools are also exposed to the 2,000 square foot garden during field trips and get to experience delicious cooking classes taught by a professional chef. Signature programs include a vocational pizza oven program and a seasonal farm stand. There are also community food demonstrations and bi-monthly garden work days for parents and family members.
The main objective of this program is to involve Club members and their families in all aspects of tending the garden – along with preparing, serving and eating the food – as a way to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and develop lifelong healthy eating habits. Our goal is to be the healthiest place for youth in San Francisco!
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco operates nine Clubhouses in San Francisco, in areas with the fewest resources. The Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club is located in Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP), where alcohol, tobacco and junk food are the most commonly sold products. Plus, only 5% of the food sold is fresh produce. As a result, BVHP residents are hospitalized more than residents of other neighborhoods for almost every disease, including diet-related illnesses, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure.
- 90% of members ate at least one vegetable the day before the post-test
- 57% of members increased their consumption of fruits and veggies.
- 45% of members ate at least three vegetables the day before the post-test
“This cucumber is so good I want to slap myself!” – Caleb, age 7
“I had a bag of hot chips and then I thought about diabetes and I only ate 2 of them then threw out the bag.”- Johneisha, age 13