Year-round jobs engage youth in nutrition and food system learning, while developing workplace skills and career options
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
- training and experience in 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 program for children and providing nutrition education for SNAP-Ed clients
In Providence, youth operate the Somerset Hayward Community Farm, while in Pawtucket/Central Falls, youth tend the Galego Community Farm during spring, summer, and fall cohorts.
At Galego Community Farm, SCLT offers summer learning and youth employment programs. The program encourage young people in Pawtucket and Central Falls to learn about growing and eating healthy food, and how to advocate so that all members of their community can access fresh, nutritious, and affordable food. This site is also a busy community garden, with 72 garden plots.
Somerset Hayward Youth Enterprise Farm is a 1/4-acre micro-farm located off of Broad Street in South Providence. SCLT’s Providence youth program operates out of the farm from spring through fall, where youth learn to seed, tend, and harvest crops and about urban farm management. They share their harvests with surrounding neighbors as well as use as it in lunches they prepare as part of the summer program. You can read about how the youth farm took shape here.
Since 2017, 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.
Summer learning for preschool through middle school children
Every year more than 100 preschool and middle school children participate in our free 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. These programs are offered with community partners in the neighborhoods we serve, including the Davey Lopes Recreation Center and Inspiring Minds.