Green Plate Special's (GPS) mission is to inspire and empower youth to experience food in new ways through growing, cooking, and eating together. Our goals are to empower low-income, urban youth to gain self-sufficiency by: tending food from seed through harvest; gaining cooking skills combining nutritional knowledge with cultural traditions; and taking the first steps towards life-long, healthy eating. By using common, inexpensive foods to make healthy meals, we help youth break the link between poverty and obesity.
Founded in 2011, the Green Plate Special garden was started on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and E. Union Street in the Central District of Seattle. We began working with youth in our garden, and held cooking classes in the kitchen of Madrona Presbyterian Church. In fall of 2013 Green Plate Special moved to our new and permanent site in Rainier Valley at 2115 25th Ave S, which includes a kitchen classroom adjoining our garden, giving us the capacity to provide more programming and engage more youth every year.
We engage ethnically diverse (predominantly African American), middle school youth (ages 10 – 14) in hands-on gardening (seeds to compost) in our teaching garden, and then cook, and taste healthy foods in our teaching kitchen. In addition to giving youth nutritional knowledge and an understanding of how to prepare healthy meals, we make a point of sending fresh produce home with youth to share with their families.