A Message From Our Executive Director: COVID-19 Update

Dear friends,

So much in our city—and our world—has changed in these last few days. We hope you and yours are safe and well during this time. We also wanted to share what’s happening here at Edible Schoolyard NYC.

As of Monday, all NYC public school sites are closed until April 20th, and we are temporarily suspending all kitchen and garden classes as well. We are also cancelling our 10th Anniversary Spring Benefit, which, as you know, raises critical funds for our work. These were hard decisions but given all that we’re learning about COVID-19, we know they are the right ones.

In these uncertain times, we at Edible Schoolyard NYC have been reflecting on our mission and why we started this project 10 years ago. We know how much supporting health and wellness in school communities matters and in this rapidly shifting world this is more true than ever. This crisis is highlighting, yet again, how inequitable and unjust food and education systems have created so many barriers for our most vulnerable families. This is underscored in the city’s reluctance to close schools until now because students rely on schools for food and critical social services.

We also believe that transforming our children and communities’ relationship with food through hands-on kitchen and garden learning is fundamental to changing these systems and ensuring a healthier future generation of young people.

Many of our friends have asked how they can help during this uncertain time. If you are able, we would deeply appreciate financial contributions to keep our work going. The cancellation of our Spring Benefit leaves us with a significant gap in funding, posing risk to our programming and organization.

Would you consider supporting us during this time? For more information, please visit https://www.edibleschoolyardnyc.org/donate/ or contact Ellen Okamoto at [email protected].

Edible Schoolyard NYC kitchen classrooms and gardens are safe, welcoming and warm places for our students and families. While they can’t visit us physically, we want them to know that we’re here for them, especially now, and that we will still be here for them when school opens again. We’re also working on how we can continue to support students and families, including connecting them to resources and developing new content for home and virtual learning that is hands-on and interactive, promotes healthy eating, and connects them to the world around them.

Thank you so much for being part of our community. We know that this is a time of change and uncertainty for all, and we are so grateful to lean on and connect with our supporters and friends now, more than ever.

Thank you and be well,