At Back to the Roots we’re passionate about getting kids excited about the food they eat and the food they grow. We love seeing our Garden Toolkits and curriculum used in classrooms, and seeing the growing interest and efforts to bring farm and garden education into schools. Check out some of our favorite community organizations also working to Undo Food™ and the fun ways you can get involved.
Food Organizations Trying to Undo Food™
1. Food Shift
Food Shift focuses on reducing food waste by working with communities, businesses, and governments. They believe that by reducing food waste, we can feed the hungry, create jobs, and cultivate more sustainable communities. The organization does work in the Bay Area and teaches businesses how to reduce food waste in their workplaces and even at large events like multi-day conferences. Their work with governments focuses on reducing waste in their municipalities and counties.
Get Involved! Food Shift accepts volunteers from high school-aged students to professionals with skills in management, editing, strategic planning, and more. Food Shift is also currently hiring.
Edible Schoolyard was founded in Berkeley (our neighboring city!) and promotes edible education first by growing and harvesting food in a garden, and then by cooking it. The Edible Schoolyard was started by renowned Chef Alice Waters, of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse (Fun Fact: Back to the Roots founders brought their very first batch of homegrown oyster mushrooms to Alice for their first taste test!). Alice is a strong proponent of cooking with fresh, local, seasonal, and sustainable foods. Her interest in education led to the creation of the Edible Schoolyard kitchen classroom where students and their teachers learn about food science, history, culture, and more with curriculum linked to the common core.
Get Involved! The Edible Schoolyard has frequent educational and hands-on events. Bay Area locals can attend Edible Education 101 classes on Tuesday Evenings at UC Berkeley. Attend a monthly tour of garden and kitchen observation and school lunch discussion. Teachers, administrators, food service professionals, and advocates can apply to train with Edible Schoolyard.
This Alaskan organization works to protect the rainforests of southeast Alaska. And they have something a little less common than a typical farm to school program – a “Fish to Schools” program. Sitka Conservation Society helps kids understand local seafood resources by serving local seafood at school lunches and teaching about local fishing cultures through “stream to plate” curriculum.
Get Involved! Keep up with Sitka’s Action Alerts and help advocate and petition for environmental causes, such as the current one to protect Wild Tongass Salmon. You can also donate to the society, or learn how to write letters to policymakers.
We think using aquaponics is a really cool way to grow food. If you’ve used our Water Garden then you
know a little bit about aquaponics already and you know that the fish feed the plants and plants clean the water. The Water Garden in your kitchen or classroom is small. The organization SchoolGrown is bringing big, classroom-sized aquaponic greenhouses to schools. These greenhouses teach students about biology, nutrition, agriculture, ecology, where food comes from, and more.
Get Involved: Volunteer with SchoolGrown by planting seeds, harvesting crops, and building greenhouses every Tuesday. Donate building and growing materials from lumber yards, hardware and plumbing suppliers, pool and aquarium shops, and local nurseries.
The Whole Kids Foundation was founded by Whole Foods Market but is a separate non-profit organization. From increasing access to healthy foods by providing schools with salad bars to providing grants for school gardens, the Whole Kids Foundation is dedicated to helping kids eat better. The foundation also offers cooking and nutrition education classes to teachers and staff so they can have a strong knowledge base to pass onto students.