It’s no secret that healthy eating habits are learned at a young age. Yet millions of children lack access to the nutritious foods they need to live healthy, active lives. In fact, an estimated 18 million children are expected to experience food insecurity in 2020. Not only does this lack of access hinder proper growth and development, but it also puts children and young adults at greater risk of physical and mental health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
Anthem partnered with Green Bronx Machine to help students in food insecure areas transcend economic and cultural barriers to good health. By teaching them how to grow, eat, and enjoy vegetables in their classrooms, the program aims to set students on a path to incorporating healthier food and behaviors into their lives and in doing so, pave the way for communities that are healthy, inclusive and thriving.
Green Bronx Machine was built on the belief that healthy students drive healthy schools, which in turn drive healthy communities. To help educate students on the importance of proper nutrition, founder Stephen Ritz developed a curriculum that teaches students about gardening while also learning about math, science, and English in a fresh and engaging way. In addition to changing their eating habits and health, these students are more prepared to enter the workforce in emerging fields that provide living wage opportunities while enhancing quality of life.
Since its founding, Green Bronx Machine has expanded its programs to reach 50,000 students across 20 states. And they have met critical benchmarks including increasing targeted daily school attendance rates from 40 to 93 percent, reaching 100 percent passing rates on New York State Examinations, and partnering to create 2,200 youth jobs. Anthem is proud to have been part of this success.
Now, everyone can see first-hand the challenges facing students, teachers, and communities and how Green Bronx Machine is working to make a difference. Generation Growth is a new documentary film that takes viewers on a cross-country journey to showcase Green Bronx Machine’s programs and the commitment of educators. From third grade to high school students, to rural and urban communities, to students with disabilities and youth in foster care, Generation Growth – and Anthem’s collaboration with Green Bronx Machine– is dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope.
Access to nutritious food is a key ingredient to good health. Anthem understands that food insecurity is one of the most pervasive issues affecting our nation’s health, and that’s why this collaboration with Green Bronx Machine is just one part of our long-term commitment to making nutritious food more accessible for all. Our commitment to person-centered, holistic care drives us to innovate and develop community partnerships that expand access to resources, create new opportunities, and ultimately improve the well-being and quality of life for people in the communities we serve.