LFN supports Global Youth Service Day

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is inviting the community to participate in an event this weekend designed to bring youth to the forefront of their communities with food projects.

The Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebration will take place all weekend beginning Friday through Sunday. GYSD is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates, expands, and sustains the capacity of all youth, ages 5-25, and their communities to thrive by working together for the common good. During the Global Youth Service Day weekend, the NWTN Local Food Network is coordinating two service projects for youth, families and community members to support.

In collaboration and with guiding support from the NWTN Local Food Network, the Martin Enrichment Academy was awarded a Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Grant for $400 to support their Stone Soup Project. The Student Culinary Council and youth at the Academy will be growing various herbs, fruits and vegetables in their raised bed gardens located onsite. They will harvest their produce grown to prepare soup, which will be offered to Martin Housing Authority residents at the Tom and Ann Community Center in June, July, September and October. The Culinary Council will have direct guidance from University of Tennessee at Martin’s Sodexo Executive Chef Andrew Miller, and Retail Department Sharde Lofton, who is also the lead teacher of the Culinary Council. Booth will work hands-on with the students to teach them basic culinary skills.

Volunteers are needed to support the MHA Stone Soup Project at the Martin Enrichment Academy on 406 Jackson St. in Martin Friday from 3-5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. to help with clean-up activities and preparing the garden site. Volunteers need to bring gloves and drinking water. Community members are encouraged to donate the supplies needed to make this project a success — a volunteer with a truck to haul cinder blocks and soil; hedge clippers and other tools such as rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows; and cardboard.

Sharon School second-grade teacher, Danielle VanCleave, is working in collaboration with the NWTN Local Food Network, and funding from Weakley County Farm Bureau, to expand Sharon School gardens on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. Volunteers are asked to bring water, gloves, and tools such as shovels, hoes, and rakes to the site next to the back school playground to help prepare the garden space by removing as much grass as possible, make the two new raised beds, set the beds and add soil, and plant blueberry bushes. Community members are encouraged to donate the supplies needed to make this project a success — a volunteer with a truck to haul soil, cardboard, and rototiller — at Sharon School, located at 254 Woodland Ave. in Sharon.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization out of Martin serving as a catalyst for a thriving local food system that is accessible to all. For more information, visit nwtnlfn.org/volunteer.

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