The students are also running education tables at the market.
Teenagers in the Bronx are spending their summer running a farmers market in an effort to improve the health of residents in their community.
According to the health department’s 2008-2009 statistics, 68% of adults in the Bronx are overweight or obese.
It is part of the Learn it, Grow it, Eat it program that aims to educate and encourage healthy eating among teens.
The city program employs 15 students to provide locals with access to fresh food and vegetables as well as nutrition education.
Eighteen year old Ashley Flores is in charge of selling the produce. She said the program has changed her eating habits.
“I always had a soda every day, four sodas a day literally and I cut that down. I am eating carrots and vegetables instead of McDonalds.”
Program coordinator David Saphire said the kids are learning about more than just good nutrition.
“This would prepare them for a retail job. They’re learning not only how to manage money but customer service. How to talk to the customers, how to explain the difference between what we are selling and the supermarkets.”
According to Saphire, roughly 80% of the produce comes from an upstate farm and 20% from the community garden the program sustains.
The program runs during the school year. Students are educated in the classroom and later selected to work during the summer.
Students are selected from four high schools in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx.
The program is now in its fourth season.