Connecting the Mind, Body and Earth Back to the Community.

The healthy living and food systems program consists of a series of experiential, hands-on, outdoor educational opportunities focused on community empowerment and engagement. This program, in partnership with Cultivate KC, Kansas City Community Gardens and Giving Grove promotes and teaches mind, body, community and environmental health to the children and youth in our care.

More than 93% of our day treatment students surveyed would like the opportunity to take fruits and vegetables home with them.

Many of the youth in our programs are living in food insecure households. This means that they have limited or uncertain access to food while at home. Our goal for these programs is to address the ongoing community need for fresh produce, while providing an educational and entrepreneurial outlet for the children and youth in our care. Our programs will provide an on-going opportunity for emotional, physical, mental and social growth of its participants. These programs will work to:

  • Build self-esteem, self-awareness and overall awareness of others.
  • Promote team building and positive peer behavior as participants will work together on community projects.
  • Enhance a sense of responsibility as plants will rely on participants to care for them.
  • Improve critical thinking, reading and comprehension skills.
  • Increase the use of fine and gross motor skills.
  • Provide education on healthful foods and nutrition.
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Our Programs   

This program will provide the opportunity for youth to take a direct role in building, running and maintaining one of our outdoor learning and farm sites. Through the Farm Leadership Program, our youth will work together to combat food insecurity and health inequality in our community. They will grow, prepare and distribute fresh food for families and children who are in need.

In this program, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the importance of overall health, skill trades, horticulture and entrepreneurship.
  • Give back to the community by providing fresh food for families who need it. They will grow, clean and package the produce.
  • Enhance community wellness. They will build community wellness spaces for exercise, relaxation and food production. This will also assist with the program’s continued growth and overall impact.
  • Engage with the community and gain exposure to community leaders.

Who is eligible for the program?

Currently, this program is eligible for day treatment and residential program clients age fourteen and up who show an aptitude and desire to learn more about healthy living opportunities. We hope to be able to open it up for community member involvement soon.

The young farmers in our Healthy Living and Food Systems programming will have the opportunity to prepare and give baskets and bags of fresh produce home to their families, and even distribute throughout their communities. Our farming sites are a food hub that are focused on providing the opportunity for our young farmers to learn health-living skills, grow an extensive network and give back to the communities that need it most.

The food grown from our sites will be used:

  • to teach cooking and healthy-living classes
  • in our on-campus cafeterias
  • to provide fresh produce to the families in our care and in the community

Through the Food for Families program our young farmers will become more empowered as they are directly involved in the growing, nurturing, preparation, education and distribution of the food that will nourish their families and their communities.

As a trauma-informed organization, we understand that in order to achieve optimum health and wellbeing, we must treat the whole person. The Healthy You, Healthy Earth program will focus on creating awareness on overall health and wellness. The four main pillars of the program are:

  • Nutrition and Physical Health — We will explore how our activity level and what we eat can affect our physical health.
  • Mental Health — We will explore how our mental health and physical health are linked and how our body connects with our mind.
  • Environment Health — We will explore how the environment affects our emotional state and both physical and mental health of not only us, but also the communities in which we live.
  • Community Health — We will explore how our individual health and group or community health are connected. How our feelings of safety, belonging, and connection with others help us stay happy and fit.

Throughout the program participants will learn about how these four pillars are intimately linked to create long-term sustainable change for themselves and the community.

See Our Programs in Action

Just read what True North Outdoors had to say about a recent project we collaborated on with them.

Listen to Our Podcast on Our Healthy Living Program!