Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ) fights food insecurity through school-based, youth-led, hydroponic farming. We work to end the cycle of diet-related poor health outcomes, disproportionately impacting low-income communities of color.
Food insecurity and a lack of healthy food access are persistent, pervasive challenges in communities across America. These challenges are exacerbated in marginalized communities where significant and harmful public health inequities disproportionately impact people of color. TFFJ is uniquely positioned to quickly and effectively seed generational change in directly impacted communities while providing tangible, immediate, and far-reaching benefits. Schools are natural centers of community; therefore, food grown within schools can serve not only students, but also families, neighbors, and communities at large.
TFFJ students become 21st-century farmers growing large quantities of hydroponic produce inside their Title I schools, and are empowered to be educators, mentors, and advocates working to build a just, equitable, and sustainable food system for all. Through STEM classes, afterschool programming, and school-based internships, TFFJ students learn to build and run our school-based farms. Each farm grows up to 10,000 pounds of produce annually, providing fresh produce daily for lunch in the schools’ cafeterias and distributed, free and affordably, within local food desert communities. TFFJ’s afterschool programming educates students about the health and nutritional value of the food they grow and provides leadership training in food policy, civics, and advocacy. The students then share this information at the local events they run, with the administration within their schools, and with their local elected officials, guiding their communities towards healthier, food-secure futures.