March 18, 2013
EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. - Stanford's Cardinal for the Community program (C4C) worked with Collective Roots on Saturday to install a garden at the Community Reentry Program of East Palo Alto -a social service agency for parolees and youth on probation. Eleven student athletes representing women's soccer, men's golf, and track and field got an early start on Saturday morning to assemble eight, raised wooden garden beds designed for growing food for East Palo Alto community residents.
"People on probation have pretty significant barriers to employment," explained Nicole Wires, Collective Roots Community Initiatives Manager and coordinator for Saturday's C4C project. "We want to create an opportunity to have meaningful, living wage jobs for those folks in our community by training them to grow healthy, affordable food...so they can sell it at the farmers market, they can do edible garden installations in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, and other areas where people want to have a garden at home and want to grow their own food but lack the time."
In addition to working alongside Community Reentry Program participants in building the garden beds, the student athletes had an opportunity to put their power tool skills to the test. ""It's really enjoyable to do some hands on work for the community," said sophomore golf player Patrick Grimes. "It's fun to grab the power tools and start hammering stuff and actually have a finished product!" Freshman soccer player Sarah Fox concurred: ""[Collective Roots] is great program - it's really cool what they're doing. Especially because in Palo Alto - organic food is just so huge. It's really great setting this up in East Palo Alto - giving them an opportunity to do everything here is really cool."
About Cardinal for the Community: Cardinal for the Community connects Stanford student-athletes with community groups to build sustainable partnerships and support the surrounding community. C4C is supported by Stanford Athletics and the Haas Center for Public Service. For more information information visit gostanford.com/community.
Collective Roots promotes food justice by engaging youth and communities in garden-based learning and nutrition education to positively impact health. East Palo Alto Community Reentry Program helps those who have been involved with the correctional system to successfully re-integrate into the community.