MIAMI (CBS4) – Some South Florida teens are leading the way in their communities to make sure healthy foods are available in an effort to fight obesity.
The teens are the product of Youth L.E.A.D. Miami, a unique organization which teaches students how to live healthier by starting with fresh foods. Students who take part in the program undergo four months of training which includes field trips, food preparation classes, community outreach, guest speakers and hands-on activities.
Teenagers meet once per week after school in Liberty City, Opa Locka, or Overtown. Students like 17-year-old Stephen Pierre said he’s learned more about what’s healthy food and what’s not.
“I learned about what they put inside chips and I don’t want to eat chips anymore,” said Pierre.
Pierre said part of the program teaches about how food is processed and what’s really inside some of the foods we eat every day.
The founder of Youth L.E.A.D. Miami, Erin Healy, said she saw a need for healthy foods in areas across South Florida that sometimes get overlooked.
“There is a lack of access to healthy food options. And the communities that we work with, there are a lot of fast food processed foods, but not a lot of fresh foods and vegetables,” said Healy.
Her goal is paying off in students like Pierre who said what he’s learned from Youth L.E.A.D. has made a difference in his life.
“I’m eating healthier now because it makes me feel better, it puts me in a better physical state and I think the healthy way is the best way,” said Pierre.
Youth L.E.A.D. Miami also helps teenagers to get a paid apprenticeship with Farmers’ Markets and Community Gardens.
Click Here for more information on how you can get involved.