Serving up nutrition education
In San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood, a “farm-to-table” garden program takes on an important purpose beyond growing nutritious, sustainable food. Located at the Copley-Price Family YMCA, The UrbanLife Tables community café supports a culinary training program that provides area youth experience and training in the foodservice industry.
According to America’s Health Rankings, an annual state-by-state analysis of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks, California lags nationally on many social issues, including students experiencing homelessness, community support and supportive neighborhoods. Supplied with freshly-farmed produce and herbs from the UrbanLife Farm rooftop garden, the program at the YMCA offers a safe, welcoming community space with healthy food while offering workforce development, food systems experience, and nutritional education.
Do Good. Live Well.
To support the program and in alignment with our mission to help people live healthier lives, UnitedHealthcare provided a $50,000 grant to the YMCA of San Diego County to support the UrbanLife Rooftop Garden Program at the Copley-Price YMCA. Additionally, 35 UnitedHealthcare employee volunteers gave nearly 90 hours on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 to help with general maintenance at the UrbanLife farm. Volunteers helped de-rock and prep new garden beds, expanded the chicken coop, water-proofed the produce harvesting station and planted mango trees.
“Do Good. Live Well.” isn’t just something we say, it is a mantra that our UnitedHealthcare employee volunteers have embraced,” said Kevin Kandalaft, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California. “Our partnership with the YMCA and UrbanLife Farms goes beyond the of growing healthy food and promoting nutritious eating, as this program also provides opportunities for underserved communities in supporting job creation and developing leadership skills and training for our local youth.”