(May 2023) At the beginning of the school year, Lynn Family and Community Engagement Manager Julielys Ortiz-Leger asked families at KIPP Academy Lynn what types of programming they wanted to see.
“Families expressed interest in many different nutrition and cooking being one of them,” Juliely says.
With the goal to connect with other like-minded organizations in the community, Julielys was put in touch with Ludia Modi, who is the Regional Director of The Food Project, a non-profit organization founded in 1991 with the mission of “creating a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system.”
The Food Project works within Lynn to address food insecurity. Especially since after the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the city’s resources and hurt the most vulnerable populations. The Food Project aims to establish strong relationships within the community in order to best support residents and community groups to understand the food access struggles they face. By doing this, The Food Project is able to work with community members to develop skills through rigorous and sustainable farming practices.
The partnership between KIPP Massachusetts and The Food Project developed into weekly cooking and nutrition classes for the KIPP Lynn families. While in the classes, families will also follow a curriculum that aims to weave issues of food access, food security, and delicious, healthy cooking.
The aim of these cooking classes is to build a community rooted in health, cultural sharing and a joy in cooking that will support families in gaining access to the foods that will nourish them physically, emotionally and culturally.
The Food Project and KIPP Massachusetts both are deeply rooted in community involvement. Most notably, KIPP Massachusetts follows a co-authorship approach to education, meaning that teachers and families work hand-in-hand to develop a positive school culture and experience for students.
As both organizations look to the future with hopes that the partnership will continue to grow, they remain positive of the outcomes they have already achieved.
Classes have started back up for this semester, and the families involved have already shared feedback that they had an awesome time and are looking forward to continuing!
Of the partnership, Ludia says, “By looking to build upon the tremendous strengths of this school and the commitment of the students’ parents, the project will add a new dimension to the community and provide a new angle for social bonds to grow.”