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NC Y&G: Giving Back

Last year, Youth & Government teens across the state were encouraged to write bills to improve access to healthy living in their communities as part of the Real Food, Active Living Bill Competition. In February of 2014 at the annual Youth & Government Youth Legislature in downtown Raleigh, three teams were awarded training on youth-led advocacy around these two issues as well as a $3000 grant to work on local policy change that will help garner grassroots support for their cause. 

On August 2, these causes came into action. A few of the Youth & Government leaders from Forsyth Country Day and Calvary Baptist Day School played a key part in the grand opening of the Robinhood Road YMCA Community Garden in Winston-Salem, N.C.. The youth teams worked alongside a volunteer community garden designer and Robinhood Road YMCA volunteers to build the garden and plan this event. Over the course of the summer, more than 300 volunteer hours went into building, planting and harvesting the garden and more than 40 pounds of squash, peppers, eggplant, melons and tomatoes were donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank, with hopes of doubling that by the end of the growing season.

The teams from the two schools chose to work on healthy food access with Second Harvest, a food bank serving 18 counties in Northwest North Carolina. Studies have shown that one-in-six people in that service area struggle with hunger and one third of them are children. Through initiatives such as these, teens from across the state are continuing to make their communities a healthier place to live.