Edible Schoolyard NOLA

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Since 2006, Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF) has supported the organic garden and healthy school meals program Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, at Samuel J. Green Charter Elementary School.

“These children deserve to have a fresh, green, delicious lunch everyday.” - Alice Waters

Outdoor Classroom and Edible Teaching Kitchen and Cafeteria

Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESY NOLA) at Green Charter School is a teaching garden and kitchen program based on the highly successful Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA, founded by chef and local foods activist Alice Waters. The foundation’s initial grants to this project built the outdoor classroom and its landscaped pathways, constructing a creative setting for the students to experience the garden in all classes and curriculum. The classroom structure has open sides and the first living green roof and walls in the Southeast.

A capital improvement grant from ELF helped kick off the Edible Teaching Kitchen and Cafeteria campaign to renovate the school’s existing cafeteria into the hands-on Edible Teaching Kitchen and Cafeteria, a sustainable cafeteria that now serves as the venue for school-wide, seasonal cooking classes and healthy fresh local lunch meals daily. The ELF funds were specifically used to assist with the green building and construction approach whenever possible. At Carnivale du Vin 2008, individuals in attendance pledged funds to assist in this effort during the Live Auction.

Completed in August 2009, the Edible Teaching Kitchen provides students with a hands-on classroom kitchen where they learn to prepare fresh and nutritious meals with harvested produce from their own Edible Garden, local farms and farmers markets.

The adjacent school cafeteria, also updated in the renovation, is now equipped to serve fresh healthier meals with the addition of real serving ware, oven and storage equipment. With the new cafeteria, ESY NOLA has replaced the previously processed lunches with fresh, local produce and hot entrees prepared from scratch.

The food service is an open kitchen so students can see how their food is being prepared. Each day a hot entree and accompanying sides will be offered along with a hot soup and a fresh salad bar featuring seasonal raw ingredients.