Crime, illegal drug sales, incarceration and the death of young people in low-income areas of St. Louis will continue to rise until we create viable, sustainable economic alternatives. The Sweet Potato Project summer program pays at-risk youth a bi-weekly stipend while they learn entrepreneurial skills. For 10 weeks they will plant produce and work to turn their yield into products they can sell today, In 2012, they created a sweet potato cookie. This is a micro-version of an extended large-scale food-based endeavor that will include farming, packaging, canning and distribution in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Our 2013 goal is to reach more youth (25), add structure and stability to the program and engage community residents in farming produce on vacant lots. We are seeking visionaries, volunteers and the resources to create a St. Louis major model for economic and social transformation with our youth and in long-neglected communities.
The Sweet Potato Project is a program of the North Area Community Development Corporation, a 501 (C-3) agency. You can learn more by visiting NACDC's website (http://nacda.wordpress.com/)