RootDown LA - You're Gonna Wanna Eat Your Veggies!

submission by rootdownla
RootDown LA - You're Gonna Wanna Eat Your Veggies!

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

RootDown LA, A project of Community Partners

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Organization(s) instagram handle(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


RootDown LA confronts health-related issues in South LA, by first convincing high school students to eat their veggies, then training them to cook, grow, promote, and distribute their produce in our Youth-driven Neighborhood Food System sites.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


South LA youth, who now run RootDown LA, know how to build demand for, and create supplies of fresh produce, directly in their neighborhoods. Our goal this year is to support these young people to begin to develop their own for-profit healthy food ventures, incorporating the nutrition and culinary educational activities they already expertly facilitate, and the produce from the garden networks they installed and maintain, at our South Los Angeles Youth-driven Neighborhood Food System sites.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):


Create jobs for youth in South Los Angeles

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


RootDown LA puts youth at the forefront of local food systems change in South Los Angeles. Our replicable model for building Youth-driven Neighborhood Food System Sites has youth building demand for, and creating supplies of, healthy food in their communities. Your vote helps our youth begin to develop their own for-profit healthy food ventures this year.

Picture young people in your neighborhood – Mar Vista, Lennox, Hollywood? - running a local food business that could install your food garden, get your kids to eat their veggies, deliver produce to your door, and cater your next dinner party. In South Los Angeles, where RootDown LA (RDLA) works, much of this has already started to happen. South LA is notorious for its crime, poverty, and legendary food desert. The stories that get told less often are about our youth, and the tremendous asset they are to the community, when they are given opportunities to achieve.

Imagine the end of a high school day. A bell rings and hundreds of energetic students loudly disperse. Nine student athletes, whose coach thinks healthy eating is a critical part of their training, head over to help in the school garden. They assist RDLA’s paid garden interns (graduates from the school), who are now working with Cal Poly students to develop systems to increase food production in urban gardens. Three other RDLA interns show up to harvest eggplants, and head to a nearby LAPD rec. center, where they run weekly cooking classes for younger kids. Two more RDLA interns stroll down a residential street near the school, and into an old home that hosts RDLA’s headquarters. They go out back and pull garden tools from a shed, then head to nearby homes, where in the past year, they have worked with these neighbors to design, build, and maintain their food gardens. Today, they’ll fix the irrigation system, trouble shoot nematodes, and deliver surplus produce to those neighbors who collect food scraps for the neighborhood compost program. Imagine a neighborhood food system that employed youth, brought neighbors together, increased the availability of local produce, and over time, helped improve neighbors’ health outcomes. Imagine young people, having an opportunity to get to know more precisely, their peers’, parents’ and neighbors’ complex barriers to healthy eating, so they could better address and dismantle those barriers.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


RDLA’s greatest success can be observed in the passion and commitment of our first program participants, who are advocates for, and now run the majority of our programs; five are paid employees, who train and manage the next generations of younger youth interns. You can find them all online - their collective enthusiasm is reflected in our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, which they post in, regularly. Since its inception, RDLA has used both formative and summative assessment methods, employing qualitative and quantitative tools. We measure progress of the organization in terms of the depth of our partnerships in the community, and our relevance where we work, as is expressed by constant demand for us to increase our programming. More specifically: intake/outtake surveys are used to measure our impact on program participants’ knowledge, behavioral change, and self-confidence relating to healthy food in our series classes. Focus groups capture long term change.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):


We welcome local colleges to develop research projects that can help us improve our food production processes and entrepreneurial activities.

3 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7


6 months ago

Send you what email?! :)

by mehatsea
6 months ago

Which email?!!! :)

by mehatsea
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015