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Nourishing Children Through Hands-On Gardens

by Michael Polzella
Children standing underneath a fruit tree

St. Petersburg has several “food deserts,” or areas where fresh fruits and vegetables are not readily available due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other healthy food providers.

The Edible Peace Patch Project teaches children in these areas how to grow and harvest foods, such as papaya and tomatoes, through hands-on educational gardens, which has been proven to improve students’ grades and behavior.

The St. Petersburg-based nonprofit maintains gardens in eight Title I schools, including Campbell Park Elementary, Fairmount Park Elementary, Lealman Elementary, Lakewood Elementary, Maximo Elementary, Gulfport Elementary, Melrose Elementary and Sanderlin IB World School.

Leah Saunders, The Tampa Bay 100

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