CATA’S Youth Food Justice Crew
C.A.T.A's Food Justice Program began in 2012 after immigrants carrying a wealth of agricultural knowledge from their homelands acted upon the lack of land access and resources to practice and learn the valuable skill of growing food for the Latino community. This group of individuals worked with C.A.T.A. and the City of Bridgeton Planning Department to find and transform what was a vacant lot into a thriving community garden that is the front and center of the Food Justice Program in Bridgeton.
During the pandemic, our board members identified the missing voices of the younger generation in food justice work.
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As a result, the Youth Food Justice Program was launched around March of 2021, with the initial intention of providing opportunities for our young people to connect with the land and their community through urban gardening. Since 2021, we've graduated four cohorts! Meet our current Food Justice interns!
C.A.T.A's 2022 Youth Food Justice Program is a 20-week-long paid internship open to youth local to Bridgeton, NJ, between the ages of 14-19. Participants work at the Bridgeton Community Garden and learn how to grow various fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that are culturally significant to the Latinx community using organic practices. They also engage in discussions surrounding the issues in our food system and the connection to immigration and culture.
During the internship, students tend to the garden and provide access to nutritious foods by harvesting and selling produce and creating value-added products for market days. Additionally, the youth get the chance to interact with community members and volunteers by participating in community meals at the office and volunteer days in the garden. They also visit nearby community gardens, farms, and groups with similar initiatives.
This year we will explore a wide range of themes, such as Tracing the Path of Food and Culture, The Food Chain from Farm to Table, Food Sovereignty, Health and Nutrition, Medicinal Herbs, Entrepreneurial/ Business Planning, College and Career Readiness, and more! We have the capacity to offer programming both in English and Spanish.