The Food Talk Project course, developed in association with the Neighborhood Story Project, was held at O. Perry Walker High School in Fall 2007. In the “Food Talk Project” health studies students at O. Perry Walker College & Career Preparatory High School and Community Center became “Food Talk” oral historians. Engaging young people in the community around food issues is an important strategy in the long-term success of rebuilding sustainable neighborhood food access.
The high school students at O. Perry Walker piloted the project and were trained in interview skills to gather the wisdom and stories of elders in their community about how food was traditionally grown and prepared.
Students were asked “How was the food system different in the past and what can we learn from elders in our neighborhood about how to eat in healthy and affordable ways?” Students visited local farms and produce stands to experience first-hand where their community's food came from, and to meet with the farmers and business owners that have a personal relationship and family history with the production of food.
Eight interviews were conducted with community members, and then edited by the students. These interviews tell the story about the changing food system in Algiers, the neighborhood in which generations have attended O. Perry Walker and where most of the students live.
The compelling stories about health and the joy in growing, selling, and cooking food have been transformed into beautiful posters that have been displayed in a host of public gathering places.
As a result of the success of the “Food Talk Project” at the High School, O. Perry Walker created an elective class based on the community program's curriculum — Cooking Right — which involves students in learning how to wisely purchase, grow and prepare healthful meals, please click here.
Click on images for a larger version of each poster