Peace Corps Volunteer Kate Young is spearheading a school nutrition project to address malnutrition in her Guatemalan community by educating preschool students and their parents on long-term healthy eating habits.

Young, who has been working as a municipal development advisor in Guatemala since 2010, was inspired to pursue the project after coordinating a basic health examination for children at her local preschool.

“I made an appointment with the community hospital for the health nurses to weigh, measure and examine all of the students,” said Young, a graduate of Rutgers University. “Of those examined, 54 percent were malnourished.”

Working with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers and the local government, Young has planted vegetable gardens on the school’s grounds and trained the children’s mothers in gardening, harvesting crops, nutrition and cooking. Young has also helped the mothers plant family gardens at their homes.

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Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Keisha Herbert recently trained more than 30 girls in Guatemala to create vegetable gardens out of recycled car and truck tires, and held a cooking and nutrition class with the food they generated from the gardens. The project not only helped raise environmental awareness, but it also improved local families’ access to food. 

(Source: go.usa.gov)

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