South L.A. Community Clinic & Urban Farming Garden Approved by LAUSD Board
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A one and half acre community clinic, garden and urban farming site at Fremont High School was approved today by the L.A. Unified School District board. The project fits into two district goals: one, a health care master plan and the other to create community parks and gardens on school campuses to address safe open spaces and healthful living. “This effort will go a long way in addressing the health disparities and the lack of information on proper nutrition that exists within communities like this one," LAUSD Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte about the South L.A. neighborhood.
The project, slated to open in by the end of 2011, will provide educational programming, job training opportunities and healthy food for community members and the 4,600 students at the school.
“The epidemic rates of childhood obesity are linked to unhealthy environments that limit access to fresh, nutritious food and safe spaces to engage in physical activity,” noted Alina Bokde, who heads the L.A. Neighborhood Land Trust, the sustainable food partner in the project. The goal is to generate sustainable job opportunities for small scale farming businesses that will ultimately provide food for students and the community. Other aspects include a multi-use greenhouse area that will serve as an indoor classroom space, a community gathering area, and a farmer’s market area.
The other partner is the University Muslim Medical Association, which will provide free or reduced-rate medical, behavioral and dental services to the students, staff and surrounding community.
The $3.4 million project will be funded via a $500,000 grant and $500,000 from the Land Trust with the rest leveraged from bond dollars.