You Are What You Eat

By / Magazine / December 9th, 2011 / 2

As part of the HSBC – Evergreen Youth Action Series initiative, youth from across Vancouver gathered on Sunday to experience first-hand the interconnection between food and the environment.

The event started with an engaging and interactive discussion about how diverse groups can work together to create sustainable food systems, and how culture and diversity can be celebrated through food. Empowered with a broadened sense of their ability to effect change, the youth then turned discussion into action in the afternoon. They learned how to grow their own food, manage seeds, grow vegetables year-round and how to build their own food gardens. The event also included a seed starting/growing workshop, where participants were able to plant different seeds in pots that they had made either to bring home or
leave behind to help Evergreen stock their new greenhouse.

With help and guidance from experts in the field, the workshops and demonstration exercises were the perfect way to engage youth with nature through food, while also highlighting the many fruitful connections between local food and local diversity. “It’s inspiring to work with young city dwellers to learn together where their food comes from, especially while celebrating the local culture of diverse communities,” explains Stephanie Levy, Project Manager of Community Development for Evergreen. “The energy, enthusiasm and community pride from the youth is infectious.”

“It’s important to stay connected to nature especially in our cities,” said Jacques Fleurant, Chief Financial Officer, Global Banking and Markets and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Canada. “Our support to youth initiatives such as this one is an investment in Canadian youth and we are confident in an outstanding return for the environment.”

Across Canada, over a thousand city children and youth who rarely get a chance to climb trees or feel the grass under their feet will be getting an opportunity to connect with nature. A donation of $400,000 over two years from HSBC Bank Canada, and an additional one-time donation of $200,000 from HSBC Holdings plc in the U.K., will support the HSBC Student Bursary Program at Evergreen Brick Works, Evergreen Common Grounds program and HSBC-Evergreen Youth Action Series.

In Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, some 200-250 high-needs and at-risk youth will experience nature first-hand through workshops and plantings, learning everything from urban agriculture to water conservation through the HSBC-Evergreen Youth Action Series.

“Research and our experience shows that education through connecting with nature builds healthy and confident young minds,” explained Geoff Cape, Executive Director of Evergreen.

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