Growing Food, Growing Minds, Growing Change with Katherine Soll

November 28, 2023
Essential Ingredients Podcast ft. Kathy Soll

“Providing pathways for today’s young people who are going to be tomorrow’s leaders is critical because we need them to be the problem solvers for us in the future. We have no alternative.” —Katherine Soll Today’s food injustice weighs heavily on our global conscience, with millions suffering from hunger while others face the dire consequences of unhealthy diets. The involvement of youth is paramount in addressing this pressing issue, as they carry the power to challenge the status quo, champion sustainability, and demand equitable access to nutritious food for all. Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ) is an organization that works to end food insecurity through school-based hydroponic farming. Students then learn to how to operate and maintain the farms through STEM classes and internships. This gives students access to fresh, healthy food and teaches them about sustainable food systems. The goal is to address the lack of access to nutritious food and educate youth to advocate for change.

This week, Justine sits with TFFJ Founder and CEO, Katherine Soll to discuss the pressing issue of addressing food justice through youth empowerment and access to education. Listen in as they share impactful stories of how the program advocates for healthier food policies, plans for expansion, the importance of youth involvement and community engagement in addressing food injustice, the health impact of food insecurity on vulnerable communities, and more. Meet Katherine: Katherine Soll brings her lifelong and deep commitment to social justice and her belief in the power of young people to build a better and more equitable world in her role as Founder, CEO, and leader of Teens for Food Justice (TFFJ). By empowering youth as 21st-century urban farmers growing fresh produce for their schools, and as nutrition educator-advocates leading their communities to healthier futures, TFFJ’s multi-faceted approach offers more than a technologically-advanced solution to affordable fresh food access in neighborhoods that need it most – TFFJ is laying the foundation for a sustainable youth-led social justice movement that can close huge gaps in food access, health, and opportunity between lower-and upper-income communities in NYC and beyond. Katherine has received various awards for her work in the nonprofit sector, including her selection as a 2021 AARP Purpose Prize Honoree. She has held high-level management and marketing roles in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors throughout her career and serves on the advisory boards of various professional organizations, including the Food and Nutrition Innovation Council and the Healthy Living Coalition.

Facebook:   / teensforfoodjustice  
X:   / tffjinitiative  
LinkedIn:   / teensforfoodjustice  
TikTok:   / teensforfoodjustice  
YouTube:    / @tffj  

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Episode Highlights:
04:59 Sustainable Food Systems and Youth Involvement
10:56 Food Justice and STEM Education
15:37 The Impact of School Gardening Program and Students’ Advocacy
19:43 Replicating the Farm-to-School Program
25:16 The Importance of Community Involvement

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