The Edible Schoolyard kitchen classroom at Hunters Point.
The Edible Schoolyard kitchen classroom at Hunters Point. Photo courtesy of ESY HP.

Who hasn’t heard of The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley? But many here may not know about another affiliated program in the Bay Area, The Edible Schoolyard at the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club in Hunters Point, which offers children in that food insecure community a chance to grow their own food, cook it, and eat it too.

The Hunters Point Willie Mays Clubhouse afterschool program is getting a little extra exposure and financial assistance in conjunction with the 40th birthday celebrations for Chez Panisse. Earlier this week, the Today Show aired a segment with Alice Waters and Edible Schoolyard supporter actor Jake Gyllenhaal that was filmed at the Hunters Point program.

Tomorrow, as part of the Eating for Education campaign to raise awareness about and money for school gardens, San Francisco restaurants Bar Agricole, Bar Jules, Contigo, Delfina, and Zuni — along with coffee companies Blue Bottle and Four Barrel — will donate a percentage of the day’s profits to the Hunters Point school garden and cooking program serving some 250 mostly low-income children of color from elementary age through to high school. The Bayview-Hunters Point area of the city is known more for fast food than fresh food; only about five percent of food sold in the neighborhood is considered fresh.

Ace fundraiser and Chez alum Samin Nosrat is in charge of the Eating for Education effort, a nation-wide, one-day event (find a complete list of participants on the Eating for Education site.)

For many restauranteurs, participating was a no-brainer. “The Boys and Girls Club in Hunters Point is a model program and this is a cause that’s important to us,” said Brett Emerson of Contigo. “Showcasing for children in a fun and engaging way the fundamentals of nutrition, respect for those that grow our food and passion for eating is key.”

Another Chez alum, Gilbert Pilgrim of Zuni, chimed in: “We believe that people will eat in a healthy manner if they start doing it while they are young. This is a worthy cause that deserves all our support.”

For the Boys and Girls Club, the campaign is an opportunity to connect with chefs and reach others in the food movement who value edible education for youth, said Brittany Johnson, a spokesperson for the organization.

While Zuni is full for Saturday night, Contigo still has room for both reservations and walk-ins who want to eat well — and support edible education at the same time.

Eating for Education. Photo by Wendy Goodfriend
Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Restaurants Raise Money for The Edible Schoolyard at Hunters Point 27 August,2011Sarah Henry


Sarah Henry

Sarah Henry hails from Sydney, Australia, where she grew up eating lamingtons, Vegemite, and prawns (not shrimp) on the barbie (barbecue). Sarah has called the Bay Area home for the past two decades and remembers how delighted she was when a modest farmers’ market sprouted in downtown San Francisco years ago. As a freelance writer Sarah has covered local food people, places, politics, culture, and news for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, California, San Francisco, Diablo, Edible East Bay, Edible Marin & Wine Country, and Berkeleyside. A contributor to the national food policy site Civil Eats, her stories have also appeared in The Atlantic, AFAR, Gilt Taste, Ladies’ Home Journal, Grist, Shareable, and Eating Well. An epicurean tour guide for Edible Excursions, Sarah is the voice behind the blog Lettuce Eat Kale and tweets under that moniker too.

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