I recently attended the Red Lake Nation’s Food Summit. One of the presenters noted that we must teach our youth that what we believe is possible. It’s a simple statement that I also found incredibly profound.
How many beliefs do you hold for which you’ve thought through how to change those beliefs into reality? Could you convince youth that the gap between your beliefs and reality are bridgeable?
This got me thinking about the Minnesota Food Charter. Do we follow this advice? Does our goal of providing a roadmap for how all Minnesotans can have reliable access to healthy, affordable, and safe food in the places they work, learn, live, and play teach what is possible? Here are several Food Charter strategy examples that do just that:
- “Provide training, continuing education credits, and incentives to early childcare providers who incorporate food skills education into their programs.”
- “Require and train teachers to incorporate food skills education into existing curricula, particularly in math, science, and social studies.”
- “Support school gardens, curriculum development and teacher training to teach all Minnesota second graders the principles of plant biology and basic gardening skills.”
- “Increase the number and capacity of farm-to-school programs.”
- “Offer incentive programs for consumers … for healthy food purchases at stores and farmers markets.” For example, the Power of Produce (PoP) Club is a farmers markets incentive program for children. Each week, children ages 4 to 12 receive a $2 token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. PoP Club engages children at farmers markets and empowers them to make healthful food choices. It aims to:
- Increase family participation at farmers markets.
- Increase vendor revenue.
- Build healthier communities.?
What I love about these Food Charter strategies are that they do follow the advice given at the Red Lake Nation’s Food Summit. And they do so in such a practical manner. They get children and youth cooking food, gardening, buying healthy food, learning about a food’s history, etc. to create a healthier food future.
That said, I must admit, when I heard the advice that we must teach our youth that what we believe is possible, I wanted to refresh my memory about what the Food Charter said because the charge was so laudable and specific. I’m glad that when I opened the Food Charter to see all that it offered, I felt incredibly proud of the Food Charter and the Food Charter Network.