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On January 25th, 2014, Via Trading participated in a company-wide community service day. In collaboration with the Volunteer LA organization and Markham Middle School in Compton, Via Trading team members worked alongside community volunteers and Markham Middle School students to beautify their on-campus vegetable garden.
Markham Middle School students live and learn in an underprivileged area of the city and have limited access to resources and opportunities as a result. The home economics program offered at Markham Middle School teaches students the essential basics of farming, nutrition and the health benefits of eating fresh, non-processed foods. The garden serves as a hands-on classroom where students learn how to weed, mulch, plant and care for their produce.
Instructors are able to use the participatory nature of this outdoor learning environment to instill values of healthy, fresh and nutritious food in their students. During the course of each spring, students tend to the garden and ensure everything is growing well.
In May, they will be harvesting everything that was planted and heading to their local farmer’s market where they will learn about the economic impact farming can have on local communities. The students will participate in the selling of their crop and will re-invest their earnings into a new variety of fruit trees, seeds and farming equipment to prepare for next year’s crop.
Via Trading team members were tasked with weeding, mulching, raking and cleaning up the garden, planting 13 fruit trees and harvesting ready-to-pull crop to prepare Markham’s garden for the upcoming season of harvest. At a time where the US’s unemployment and childhood obesity rates are both soaring, this type of education project fueled by the school system and sustained by volunteer organizations is a step in the right direction towards empowering our youth with the knowledge and tools they will need to improve their own futures, both economically and health-wise.
We are honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to work alongside Volunteer LA and Marham Middle School in this capacity and we look forward to our continued partnership with these organizations to bring more crucial education and resources to our local community.