Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center (Olivewood) joined HEALthy 4 You (H4Y) as a recognized partner on August 31, 2021. Olivewood became a H4Y partner because of their dynamic efforts to support health and wellness through the promotion of environmental stewardship and nutrition education. Olivewood is an essential asset in the South Region area, and wholeheartedly embraces the importance of health and wellbeing for children and families in the community. In addition, Olivewood empowers others to spread information and skills to the wider region. The organization motivates and nurtures young people to enter careers that promote personal and environmental health, and fosters the development of nutrition education programs at local schools by offering training academies that empower teachers and volunteers to establish and use their own gardens.
Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center created the Cooking for Salud program in 2012 with the goal of empowering families to take control of their health through the foods that they eat and prepare at home. Patty Corona, Cooking for Salud coordinator, organized seven Kitchenistas to participate in a H4Y Streetwyze pilot training, a direct mapping project where each could identify places they like, don’t like, and places that need to be improved. Thanks to their participation over six weeks, H4Y researchers learned how to improve the Streetwyze mapping experience for community members who would be participating in the study. Kitchenistas also raised awareness on what families were experiencing in their neighborhoods and used the mapping platform to advocate for improved quality of life.
Learn more about the Kitchenistas in El guía de Kitchenistas of National City (2015) a documentary film short (below) showing the struggles and triumphs of families in National City living with Diabetes, Obesity, and other health conditions related to food.