Here are some of the kids who are enjoying learning about healthy living at Chute Middle School with support from UCE’s Fair Trade Cart.
We have provided funds for their Healthy Eagles Club to plant and tend a garden at school and then to learn to prepare their harvest from visiting chefs. Your purchases make possible this year-long activity at Chute School in addition to paying for the gift certificates given to selected families at holiday time. We, and these kids, thank you for your continuing support of the Fair Trade Cart and wish you a Happy New Year!
The Fair Trade Cart and F.A.S.T. are happy to announce that we are now supporting a new enterprise at Chute School here in Evanston. This is in addition to our yearly donation to help selected Chute families at the holdays. Our contact is UCE member Randy Barrengos who is a social worker at the school and here is what Randy wrote to us to describe this project.
“For the past couple of years, Chute has had a garden club led by two or three dedicated teachers, that had about 12-15 kids attending each week for part of the school year. This year we decided to expand the student’s work in the Chute garden to include other healthy lifestyle activities. Hence, we have renamed our club, Actions For Healthy Eagles Club. (Eagles are our school mascots). At the first meeting, we had 25 students attending. Our club activity that day was picking kale from the garden, and preparing the kale and other ingredients to make healthy smoothies. The kids were totally into it and I was personally surprised how they took a risk and actually drank their smoothies that had healthy kale in them!!!! We also had the students fill out a survey about what they would like to do in the club. We are very excited about our new club and some of the great activities we are putting on the calendar which includes having guest chefs cook with the students, professional yoga teachers for yoga classes, nature walks to the lake, and our list goes on.”
Randy tells us now that the club meets three times each month and averages between twelve and twenty students at each meeting. They have already had sessions with a cook and a yoga instructor. She welcomes ideas, donations, and volunteers who can share a healthy living skill or talent with the students for one or two class sessions. Contact Joan Retzloff at [email protected] to share your ideas for the club.
The Fair Trade team is hoping to find additional socially responsible vendors who pay fair wages and subscribe to sustainable production standards in the US. The vast majority of Fair Trade efforts are focused on helping people in developing countries, but we think we need to support responsible American enterprise too. We now sell Women’s Bean Project soups from Colorado and the perfumes produced in Chicago community gardens. We have sold soaps and personal items from a women’s group in Chicago too . We are now adding “Sweet Beginnings”, a Chicago company that employs and trains people to produce and sell products made with honey from their own hives. If we can find more groups like this, we would like to support them and tie that support into the UUSC income inequality project. These groups pay fair wages and focus on providing good jobs and training for disadvantaged communities and that is something we can all get behind! Watch for new products and give us your ideas at the Fair Trade Cart.