We have witnessed very satisfying outcomes from the program—including healthier participants who have a sense of pride in what they have been able to do. We understand from the [Youth Harvest] participants that: the work is hard, the sun is hot, the lunches are delicious, and the rewards of farming and growing food for those who are in need can be “overwhelming” and “great”…These young people “own” the production of the farm and by sharing it with the community they refocus on a more positive future.
– Honorable Judge John Larson
Missoula’s Youth Drug Court
15-20 youth from challenging backgrounds spend the summer employed and 30 volunteer on two farms, learning life and job skills by growing high quality, low cost food for 200 senior households, over 160 CSA vegetable subscribers, 7 Youth Homes, and 10 other agencies.
Mobile Markets and Congregate Meals bring together two very different and isolated populations together with incredible results. Youth gain a sense of confidence, seniors gain a connection, both groups reach outside their comfort zones.
Job skills –
Youth learn more than farming. They learn how to balance check books, count change, work with and educate customers, timeliness, and basic life skills. With the leadership track of Youth Development, some teens gain an even higher level of skills.
Self-sufficiency & self confidence –
Whether it is breaking ties with an unhealthy family relationship, breaking clean from addiction, or simply learning skills for the job force, these teens gain a sense of control over their lives by helping run a farm.