Model Neighborhood Program

Model Neighborhood Program

Mission Statement

The Model Neighborhood Program (MNP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit neighborhood improvement organization dedicated to vitalizing the community by providing direct support through its Certified Farmers’ Markets and nutrition programs, along with supportive resources to the area’s neighborhood groups and residents.

OUR COMMUNITY ACTION

How does the farmers’ market fuel our community? The Model Neighborhood Program has taken a great community benefit like the La Cienega Farmers’ Market and spread the wealth even further! Here are a few of the programs we've developed...

Fresh Fruit on Fridays, A Farm-To-School Nutrition Program

In 2003, the Model Neighborhood Program began conducting nutrition demonstrations for students at two local elementary schools. As a result of those demonstrations, Fresh Fruit on Fridays (FFOF) was born. Today, FFOF serves a total of six Title 1 public schools in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles.

The objectives of FFOF is to educate children about the nutritional benefits of eating seasonal, locally grown, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. We inform them about the value of knowing where their food comes from and enhance the students' experience through lessons, demonstrations, and samples of the featured produce. Students develop familiarity with a variety of goods by learning where, when, and how local farmers grow their crops, as well as nutritional benefits and historical information.

FFOF and the Model Neighborhood Program have been pioneers for the standards of national Farm to School programs, with an emphasis on sharing the ideologies of the farm-to-table movement currently making trend waves in the USA. We believe that good health is a crucial part of life and so we provide students with the knowledge and the tools for making nutritionally beneficial dietary choices.

FFOF also promotes the benefits of making eco-conscious, earth-friendly decisions by supporting local farmers who are also commited to sustainability.

FFOF relies on grants and donations to help our students continue to experience and learn about the benefits of farm fresh fruits and vegetables.

To assist Fresh Fruit on Fridays contact us at mnpfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

Student Farmer/School Garden Program, A Full-Circle School Garden Program

It began back in 2004 with Denise, a dedicated parent at Canfield Avenue Elementary, who took the time to work with us to execute a unique program with their new school garden. The MNP raised funds to assist Canfield Avenue with irrigation materials, and after the kids got the garden growing, we paid for the permits and assisted with the certification of their garden. This enabled the school to then sell their produce in the farmers’ market. Denise pulled together the kids, the produce, and the La Cienega Farmers’ Market then made room for them on Thursday. They didn’t make much, but the students got to see what it was like to produce something from scratch and bring it to market like a real farmer.

Super Salad Me, Another Successful Program!

Super Salad Me is a program that provides a free healthy salad bar that will include items not normally seen on your average school menu and that are picked fresh by local farmers. Fresh organic spring mix baby lettuce, accompanied by an assortment of fresh fruits, sprouts and nuts, topped with fruity vinaigrette dressing are some examples of what may be offered. Students experience the full range of choices available to them when they eat healthy, and the difference that freshness can make to the quality and taste of food. Our intent is for our older students to think outside the normal limitations of school and cafeteria food and opt for the better tasting and higher nutritional level foods. Many teenagers are experiencing the results of bad eating habits, and like Fresh Fruit on Fridays, we want to offer them great tasting and healthy food alternatives, so that they too can make better food choices throughout their teen and adult lives.

We believe in providing opportunities for students of school gardens plan for the future. From the time they plant the first seed, to developing a strategy on bringing their produce to market, we can help them gain knowledge, experience and prepare them for positive results.