About Us

It’s about the return to real food!

• It’s about healthy kids and communities.
• It’s about busting myths that healthy food is too nasty, too expensive, or too time consuming to prepare.
• Since 2007, it’s about creating nutrition, cooking, and food systems lessons that are relevant and actionable for today’s surban populations – building DEMAND for healthy food.
• And, as of 2010, it’s also now about completing a full cycle of food systems change – training youth in horticultural and entrepreneurial lessons that let us bring our own SUPPLIES of healthy food into the neighborhoods where we work.

Bottom line?
It’s about combating epidemic rates of obesity and diabetes,
 by getting people to eat their veggies – for real!
And it’s about time!

Our Mission: RootDown LA convinces high school kids to eat their veggies then engages them in educational experiences that empower them to build healthier food communities as they cook, grow, and sit down to eat healthy food with their friends, families and neighbors. Root Down believes the following:

•    The majority of Americans have become disconnected from this simple truth – our health is directly affected by the foods we eat.  Healthy soil = healthy food = healthy bodies and minds to build healthy communities.
•    Building demand for healthy food encourages a critically needed increased supply of healthy food in urban areas.
•    Creating even small food gardens in our communities can help bridge the gap where our nation’s centralized food system is not reliably getting healthy, fresh food to us.
•    When kids feel connected to a community where healthy, great tasting food is valued and readily available, they adopt preferences for this food and decrease their likelihood of developing obesity and related illnesses.

Root Down employs the following methods to achieve its goals:
•    Experiential education and skills training for youth to teach nutrition, cooking, and food systems advocacy lessons that enable people to identify, source, prepare, and build preferences for healthier foods.
•  New entrepreneurial and horticultural trainings that allow youth to create supplies of fresh produce to distribute in their neighborhoods.
•    Creating supportive partnerships with other community agencies that share a similar vision to build healthier food communities from within.
•    Mentorship connecting youth participants with experiential opportunities that increase their engagement and employability within a healthy food community.

The food culture is shifting.  Join us in South LA

6 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Hi,

    Our group, LA Green Grounds, is helping people set up their own gardens at home, so they can grow and eat their own healthy, clean, truly tasty home in their own yards.

    We help people in south L.A. by providing our knowledge and labor to create a sustainable vegetable garden, for free. We only ask that the resident invite neighbors, friends, family so that we can teach and demonstrate and finally, actually create a garden in one afternoon.

    People can apply for LA Green Grounds help by emailing us or responding to our blogsite: lagreengrounds.org

    Florence Nishida
    Master Gardener, UC Cooperative Extensuion
    L.A. County

  2. Hello. I’m a producer and journalist with KCET-TV who is producing a series of shows on health and nutrition in L.A. Could someone give me a call when convenient. I’d like to discuss the work of Root Down L.A.

    Saul Gonzalez
    (323) 953-5378 (o)

  3. Hello!

    I volunteered with Hunger Action Los Angeles at their Good Food Fair on Saturday 06/25 and RootDownLA was there passing out fruits, veggies, and brown fried rice to the community. The food was AMAZING, and Megan Hanson and her staff were super friendly and informative! RootDownLA is really doing something great by teaching families, in particular children that fresh fruits and vegetables can be both nutritious and tasty.


    • Thanks Denise! We loved meeting you and hope to one day partner – bringing good food and mental health services to those most in need wherever you end up working!!!

  4. I am the Manager of Community Partnerships here at Cornerstone Theater Company and we are gearing up for a new cycle of community based theatrical productions centered around the concept of “Hunger.” We have identified five sites of interrogation for our next set of productions such as the Restaurant, the School, Agriculture (Rural/Urban), Scarcity & Abundance and a Bridge show.

    We’re touching upon a range of issues related to hunger, including but not limited to food deserts, community gardens, corporatization of crops, the slow food movement, etc.

    I’d love to be in touch with you and see if there’s a chance we can partner on some of the productions. We’re looking for folks to share their stories and participate as actors.

    Please get in touch with me at your earliest convenience.

    Raquel Gutiérrez
    Manager of Community Partnerships
    w: http://www.cornerstonetheater.org
    e: rgutierrez@cornerstonetheater.org
    t: 213.613.1700 x119

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