Can one man/woman make a difference? Of course, but it helps if you’ve got some dedicated friends. The photo above is from this Daily Tidings story—it’s my friend Yoko serving up some totally free vegan vittles to high school kids in Ashland, Oregon. And the orange catering truck is Taran’s. Why have an orange catering truck if you’re not going to use it, right? The ingredients were all donated by farmer’s market folk and with contributions from the rest of the community.
The plain truth is that this community, like many, many, many others, has cut school funding to the bone. Extra programs—you know, the life-building ones—gone. The food—building blocks of quickly growing and morphing bodies—crap. One Ashland is out to change that one free meal at a time.
They set up right outside the school and met with a bit of resistance…not from the students, mind you. The school official came out to make them leave. These are minors, you know, so the school is responsible for them . What’s that? It’s open campus? So kids can go to the fast food joints down the street? They just can’t eat this free, healthy food? Long story short, the truck was sent away (to avoid “federal issues”) but they parked just a bit away and continued to give away healthy meals.
The kids were very appreciative. Yoko joked that in some places, if you give away food you’re still gonna get robbed. These students were polite and genuine. That makes the hard work so much more worth it. I just think it’s funny that schools defend their greasy, processed fare with claims that it’s the only thing kids will eat. Beg to differ.
So check it out. You can donate to One Ashland on its website…or you can start your own community group. I’m sure kids around your neck of the woods could use some clean eats.