There is an old saying that if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Now schools are applying that same thinking to apples, oranges, and broccoli.
Since 1995, the Edible Schoolyard Project has been integrating gardening into school curriculums across the country and reconnecting students with where fresh fruits and vegetables come from — all in an effort to inform healthy eating habits.
The impact of such programs is no small potatoes.
According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, schools, childcare and early education programs are “uniquely positioned to model and reinforce healthful eating behaviors by including [fruits and vegetables] at meals, activities, and events…and incorporating nutrition education into curricula.”
Further data from a study published in BMC Public Health journal the same year suggests that, “exposing children to a variety of fruits and vegetables in early childhood and engaging them in the process of growing their own produce may increase habitual consumption throughout life.”
To shine a spotlight on this worthy cause, Everlane — the beloved internet-based clothing boutique for sustainable-chic basics — worked with notable culinary forces from across the country to design five custom market totes and is donating $20 from the sale of each to Edible Schoolyard NYC with the goal of raising $50,000.
By all accounts, it’s a match made in mindful-living heaven.
"We met the team at Edible Schoolyard NYC just over a year ago and bonded over a shared passion for educating consumers,” Michael Preysman, founder and CEO of Everlane, told Yahoo Food.
“At Everlane, we tell the story of every product we make, and at Edible Schoolyard NYC, they re-educate kids on how to create a better food system,” he continued. “We are excited to help spread the Edible Schoolyard NYC mission to our customers and expand their footprint."
Constructed from soft grey coated canvas, each Chef Tote in the Everlane collection is emblazoned with a statement that references the ideology and cooking style of one notable partner chef, ranging from “Know Your Edibles” (Ignacio Mattos of restaurant Estela) to “Know Your Dough” (Nick Anderer of New York City’s white-hot pizzeria Marta) to “Know Your Grains” (Chad Robertson of San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery) to “Know Your Pig” (April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin) and “Know Your Sole” (Camille Becerra of seafood-centric hotspot Navy).
In addition, the bag includes one of the renowned cook’s recipes so that customers will be inspired to march directly to their local farm stand or market.
"We are delighted to work with Everlane, a company that is so aligned with our values,” enthused Kate Brashares, executive director of Edible Schoolyard NYC. “Their incredible reach means that more people will know about Edible Schoolyard NYC, and we in turn will be able to reach more New York City public school children and teach them to have a positive connection with healthy, delicious, real food.”
The Chef Totes are currently available on everlane.com for $45 each.