LAKEWOOD, WA — Wednesday, The Beecher’s Foundation officially launched the Lakewood Sound Food Uprising, a unique education initiative with the goal of promoting positive changes in food-based health to students and community members in the city of Lakewood, Washington. Between October and February, The Beecher’s Foundation will provide programming at no cost to all 4th and 5th graders at Lakeview Hope Academy and Tyee Park Elementary; to all 9th graders and DECA students at Clover Park High School; and to their parents, teachers and school staff.
“The benefits to our families are clear,” said Clover Park School District Superintendent Doug Kernutt. “We are excited to work hand in hand with community partners to support food literacy and nutrition for students and their families. This two-generation approach makes the curriculum uniquely effective and impactful.”
“We are thrilled to play a part in making a difference for local students and families,” said Sara Morris, President of The Beecher’s Foundation. “Today, students at Lakewood-area schools will chop cilantro for a vegetable chili, read food labels, and decode marketing messages as a first step in reclaiming their food future..”
The program curriculum aims to reveal the truths of the food system; to demonstrate how food is a central ingredient of social justice; and to provide practical hands-on cooking. The three Beecher’s Foundation workshops are commercial free, age-appropriate, and will include the following:
Lakewood Elementary School Program: Tyee Elementary and Lakeview Hope Academy 4th and 5th graders will learn how to be “food detectives” by learning how to read labels and decipher ingredient lists. They’ll garner knowledge about how to see through marketing messages, and will also learn how to cook from scratch in this two-and-a-half hour workshop.
Lakewood High School Program: Clover Park High School 9th graders and DECA students will explore the state of today’s food system from an equity and social justice perspective, and will examine the influence teens have to make positive change. The workshop, comprised of two 90 minute sessions, will also include cooking and hands-on group work.
Lakewood Adult Program: Parents, teachers, and interested community members will explore power and influence in the food system; learn the history of the industrialized food state; and uncover practical ways to improve eating habits and communities’ collective well-being.
The four hour workshops are held at Boys & Girls Club of Lakewood on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays between October 2018 – February 2019. A full meal is included and all diets can be accommodated. Adult participants receive a $10 Grocery Outlet gift card and access to a deeply discounted quality kitchen kit. Participants can refer friends to earn additional $25 Grocery Outlet gift cards. Childcare is provided at no cost (ages six and up). Interested community members are invited to participate as space allows and can sign up online at beechersfoundation.org/Lakewood; in person at the Boys & Girls Club; or at the front desk of Tyee Park Elementary, Lakeview Hope Academy and Clover Park High School.
According to research, 30 percent of Pierce County’s adult residents are obese and 25 percent of Pierce County 10th graders are overweight or obese. The coalition hopes that through more intensive localized programming and greater public awareness about health and wellness, these numbers can be reduced. In the spirit of promoting this awareness and bringing food education to area families, Pierce County and the City of Lakewood are declaring the month of October Food Literacy Month.
“The city of Lakewood is proud to partner with The Beecher’s Foundation and support its collaborative efforts to improve food literacy among Lakewood children and their families,” said Mayor Don Anderson. “It is through these types of partnerships that we will continue to build and strengthen a healthy community.”
Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier applauds the collaboration and partnerships working to improve health outcomes. “This is a great example of organizations coming together to do good in the community,” he said. “This initiative will decrease demand for overly processed food, increase home cooking, and improve our residents’ health and well-being.”
About The Beecher’s Foundation
The Beecher’s Foundation is on a mission to build a better food future for all. Through direct programming, the foundation educates and inspires people to eat real food and vote with every food dollar. The Seattle-based nonprofit was founded in 2004 by Sugar Mountain CEO Kurt Beecher Dammeier (note: relation of Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier.) More on the Foundation is at beechersfoundation.org.