The Dietetics and Nutrition program at Keiser University’s (KU) Port St. Lucie campus has forged a partnership with St. Lucie West Centennial High School to prepare and grow a community garden.

The concept of the community garden stemmed from a class project the Dietetics & Nutrition students were working on in their Nutrition Education class.  During a class discussion they proposed making it a reality to their Program Director and she was delighted to get the ball rolling on the project.  One thing led to another and the partnership between Keiser University and St. Lucie West Centennial High School was formed.

“With a background in public health, it makes my heart swell with joy that my students chose to keep connected to the community and wanted to give back by sharing the knowledge they have learned in this program,” said Dr. Lisa Griffith, RD and Dietetics & Nutrition Program Director.

The garden will be a joint effort between the culinary students at the high school and the dietetics students at KU to educate them on the value of healthy food and how to grow them.  The first crops will be herbs and vegetables but will expand to fruit down the road.  If the crops are abundant beyond what the students need, they plan to give the food to local food banks.

“As always the superintendent and the school board support the educational and philanthropic opportunities for our students and encourage them in their pursuit of excellence both in the classroom and as contributing members of our community,” stated Genelle Zoratti Yost, St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent.  “When culinary arts students are afforded the opportunity to grow and harvest crops, prepare them in the kitchen, and enjoy them at the table, they have the rare opportunity to be part of the full cycle, from seed, cultivation, harvesting, and preparation for consumption.”

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