We all want to eat healthy. Yes, organic is the way to go. However, it seems more affordable and easier to head for a drive-thru restaurant. With the wide array of supersized options, we risk getting more than what we bargained for. Weight gain, increased blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease – are all linked to poor nutrition. The strenuous economy combined with our fast-paced culture – makes healthy choices feel unattainable.
Local businessman John Gachina, launched an “Awareness Campaign” advocating health and disease prevention for the 275 employees at Gachina Landscape Management. “I want them to know they must make time to eat right for themselves and make healthy choices for their families. We can’t allow our kids to think food comes from McDonalds.”
However, John didn’t stop there. Today, he brought the campaign to JobTrain. For more than 15 years, Gachina Landscape Management has provided free landscape services for the nonprofit. Yet, Gachina felt compelled to do more.
Ever since collaborating during Earth Day 2009, Gachina and JobTrain employee Kail Lubarsky shared the dream of creating a vegetable garden for the preschool.
Although it didn’t take a village to install the 3x20 garden vegetable box, community alliance made it possible. Girvin Peters (Girvin Peters Landscape) built the beautiful wooden box, Terry Lyngso (Lyngso Garden Materials) donated the 100% organic soil known as “veggie mix”, and Gachina Landscape Management donated the labor and gardening supplies. Approximately $1,000 went towards the special undertaking. But, for Gachina the experience was priceless. “These kids will not only grow vegetables – but self esteem.“
According to Liceria Ernst, JobTrain Preschool Instructor, “This will be exciting for the kids and educational for their parents too. This project will prove eating healthy is an easy and affordable option for everyone.”
In only minutes, the children planted carrots, onions, peppers, collard greens, sweet peas, lettuce and parsley. There’s no doubt they’ll enjoy their harvest. But will it end there? The preschool kids are becoming ambassadors of good health at JobTrain. Their vegetables will be used in meals prepared by the Culinary Arts program, which in turn will reach countless local and surrounding communities.