Student website plants seeds for Bermuda food security – The Royal Gazette


Created: May 30, 2022 08:03

A class of Berkeley Institute students learn about food safety at the AgraLiving Institute in preparation for the launch of a website connecting the public to food resources (Photograph provided)

A high school class got involved in the fight against food insecurity and launched a website connecting the public to food resources.

Berkeley Institute students created the Bermuda Lunchbox, a directory of food charities and agricultural resources, after six weeks of research and web design.

The website went live last Monday and hopes to boost people’s access to food.

Owen Thompson, 16, said: “I can speak for everyone when I say we want this website to help people get out of food insecurity.

“Human beings should learn at least one new thing every chance they get.”

Planting new seeds: A team of students from the Institute of Berkeley launched their own website to connect the public to food resources and fight food insecurity on the island. Pictured, L-R: Daniell Simons, Diamond Outerbridge Project Coordinator and Teacher Owen Thompson, Amiyah Anderson, Ira Thompson and Daezjha Talbot (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

Bermuda Lunchbox provides a summary of different food resources and a link to its social media and websites.

Organizations are separated into free services, charities, private businesses, and fully online resources.

It includes delivery services and food drives, as well as resources that show how to farm and forage for produce.

Daezjha Talbot, 16, said he and his classmates created the website as part of a class project to learn more about the causes of food insecurity and potential solutions.

He said the class, led by their teacher, Diamond Outerbridge, visited the AgraLiving Institute in Devonshire to learn more about the concept.

Daezjha added, “One of the things we’ve learned is that people keep planting the same things in the same soil, which sucks up specific types of nutrients that other plants need.

“It doesn’t go back into the soil, so plants die and it affects what kind of food we can eat.”

AgraLiving founder Chris Faria shows Berkeley students the science of gardening (Photograph provided)

Amiyah, 16, said the class decided to create a website because it was the most accessible way to get their information across.

She added that it offered easier services for those who were struggling financially or had mobility issues.

Amiyah explained, “If people are having trouble getting food, they can go to this website and search for different food resources.

“It breaks down the amount of money things cost, so people who can’t afford so much food can see the cost.”

She added: “People who can’t really get to the store or are in a rush can use things like Sargasso or Pronto on the website.

“Even people in quarantine can use it.”

A class of Berkeley Institute students learn about food safety at the AgraLiving Institute in preparation for launching a website connecting the public to food resources (Photograph provided)

The class thoroughly researched each food resource almost every day and took note of everything from cost to internet presence.

Daniell Simons, 16, said the search took over a month.

She added, “We went to grocery stores and took notes on who would likely go to those stores.”

Owen said the most fascinating thing he learned from the project was that food insecurity affects others disproportionately based on social factors such as race and accessibility.

He added that lack of food had always been a problem and had even been weaponized in the past.

Owen explained, “Frederick Douglass explained how food was used as a weapon by making slaves fight for it or forcing them to drink so they couldn’t escape.”

Owen’s 14-year-old brother Ira said he hopes the resource will inspire others to grow their own food.

He said, “In the past, we actually had a lot of farms, but today we don’t have that many.

“It could be a push towards people saying ‘hey, I want to start a farm, so if the freighters don’t come, we have a way to eat’.”

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