Year-round programs grow kids’ food IQ, gardening and community engagement skills  

Summer Youth Staff outside the SCLT office in South Providence in 2019.

Every year more than 100 elementary and middle school children participate in our summer programs, learning how to grow food in the city, how to make simple, healthy snacks and why we need to care for our natural environment.

Roughly 50 Providence and Pawtucket/Central Falls high school youth and young adults are hired each year for our year-round Youth Employment Program, engaging in work-based learning activities that span the food system. These include:

  • acquiring basic agricultural skills at three different urban farms
  • learning about nutrition and food retail, and developing culinary arts skills in partnership with Harvest Kitchen Cafe
  • being trained in and offering community outreach about climate change resilience with Groundwork RI
  • participating in college and career-readiness workshops and field trips
  • co-leading classes for our summer children’s program and providing nutrition education for SNAP-Ed clients

In Providence, youth operate the Somerset Hayward Community Farm, a ¼-acre parcel off of Broad Street. Youth staff  plant, tend and harvest crops for sale at the Armory Park Farmer Market and other outlets. You can read about the farm’s inspiring start here.

Since 2018 we’ve offered four Food Systems Interns per year for adults 19-24, to build a career pathway for racially diverse high school graduates as well as a skilled talent pool for green industries facing major labor shortages.

In addition to corporate and foundation donors, these employment programs have been supported since 2018 by the RI Governors Workforce Board’s Real Skills for Youth initiative.

For more information, please contact Raffini at 401-273-9419, ext. 109, or e-mail her at raffini@southsideclt.org

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