FoodWhat’s energized name speaks to its mission as a youth empowerment and food justice organization. FoodWhat partners with low-income and struggling youth across Santa Cruz County to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably-raised food, and address local food justice issues.
FoodWhat creates a safe space where youth experience profound personal growth and transformation, radical diet change, critical job training, and step into relevant activism.
The Big Idea:
Radical Diet Change—Spring Internship
Every year, hundreds of youth apply for 60 available spots in FoodWhat’s programming. In 2019, we will set out to increase the number of positions and offer more life-changing and community-building opportunities to meet the expressed needs of youth, particularly those based in Watsonville.
We partner with struggling, yet resilient youth who suffer disproportionately from problems associated with poverty: barriers to education, severely limited employment options, community violence, and compromised health. Through FoodWhat, youth begin their journey in radical diet change, job preparedness and personal growth through food, farming, activism and community events. They go on to use their power, experience and skill to create a lasting relationship with healthy food and living built in their own terms.
As a result, FoodWhat youth are changing the culture around health. Our Spring Internship often represents their first step.
FoodWhat has changed my life. This summer I have seen myself slowly growing into the person I want to become. I have been more positive and confident. I have much stronger communication now. I learned how to cook and prepare food. Now I want to change my family’s diet and have the community get the delicious meals they can’t afford or don’t have time to prepare.