PHILADELPHIA -- The Urban Nutrition Initiative, a program of the Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, has been recognized as the best year-round YouthWorks program by Work Ready Philadelphia. UNI was recognized for its youth projects that work to improve community food systems in Philadelphia.
UNI addresses the interrelated problems of poor nutrition, obesity and diet-related disease through programs that engage 10,000 students across the city in hands-on experiences growing, tasting, cooking and selling healthy foods. The award marked the end of UNI's most successful summer programming to date, which included operating bi-weekly, youth-run community farm stands, conducting youth-led healthy cooking workshops and hosting teens from around the country during the 9th Annual Rooted in Community Conference.
Work Ready Philadelphia is a program of the Philadelphia Youth Network, which contracts federal funding to 25 youth-organizations serving local youths ages 14-21 annually in summer and year-round programs, ensuring that they are aligned with academic standards and local labor market trends.
Each summer PYN hosts an end-of-summer celebration, showcasing the programs. This year, eight students from University City and Sayre High schools represented UNI, making presentations on their community nutrition work and serving up healthy snacks at a food booth.