Spotlight on youth: Happy harvesters learn to plant and pick their own veggies

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) "Can I have all the children please come to the garden. All the children please come to the garden," said an office administrator over the intercom at Denali Montessori.

Students at Denali Montessori show off veggies they harvested that will go to the Children's Lunch Box.

Soon after, an excited group of students headed outside, ready to harvest some fresh veggies.

"Okay, I want you guys to look under the leaves and see if you see anything," said Teacher Jessica Sharp.

Buried under the leaves were beds of veggies. Kale, cabbage carrots and peas. Students planted and finally got a chance to pick what's been growing since the Spring.

"I think it's super important for kids to see where their food comes from and to be able to show them hands-on how to plant stuff," said Sharp.

Thanks to the Alaska Rotary Club, 8 boxes were donated to start up a garden.

"It's pretty cool, once they start picking it themselves and growing it themselves then they're a lot more likely to actually eat it. It's surprising because a lot of times the garden veggies taste better than the store veggies," said Sharp.

"I've been picking vegetables and some strawberries and sometimes I'll eat them, sometimes I'll put them in the bag," added 6-year old Gryphon Sharp.

Once they make it to the bag, the veggies take a quick trip up the street to the Children's Lunch Box where they're used to feed kids throughout the city.

"It's really great because we have the kids growing these vegetables that are going straight to kids, so we always love it when kids are helping kids," said Ginger Okumoto, Program Manager for TCL.

Anchorage Rotary has about 60 different garden beds at 10 different schools around town. The Children's Lunch Box said donations are always welcome, veggies don't have to come from just a school garden.

Email spotlight on youth story ideas to soy@ktuu.com.

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