Jarvis Christian College Enactus Team partners with the University of Texas at Dallas Enactus to expand the scope of the Unilever “Bright Futures” Project Accelerator, “Recycling the Seeds of Life”.
Hawkins, TX – Jarvis Christian College Enactus received a grant from Unilever Corporation for the “Recycling the Seeds of Life” project. The Unilever Bright Future Project Accelerator mobilizes Enactus United States teams to implement innovative projects that apply market-based solutions to reducing food waste, as well as, achieving sustainable agriculture, enhancing livelihoods and/or increasing the health and well-being of communities in the United States.
The Jarvis Enactus project addresses three Unilever pillars of nutrition: good for people, good for the planet, and reducing waste. The Jarvis Enactus focus areas are:
- Food Insecurity – 14.3% of US households are food insecure—48mm Americans, of which 16 million are children—without money for food during the year (USDA, 2016).
- Hunger – 456,000 or 35% of the population is at risk of hunger in East Texas, less food wasted means fewer hungry children and more money saved (East Texas Food Bank, 2015).
- Food Waste – a family of four wastes 122 lbs. of consumable food at an annual cost of $1,600 (EPA, 2016).
Good food comes from the circular process of good seed going into the soil and returning as edible fruits/vegetables necessary to sustain life. Almost “80% of the calories” people eat only come from a dozen plant species (Dunn, 2017). Pathogens, pests, war and famine could obliterate a society’s food supply. Saving and recycling seeds has global implications for human survival.
Initially the Jarvis Enactus Team worked with sixth graders at Big Sandy (TX) Middle School to bring in seeds from foods eaten at home to plant in containers crafted from recycled plastic bottles by their partner UT-Dallas. Now the project expands to Dallas in North Central Texas.
Each student at Big Sandy was excited about being able to plant their seeds and could not wait to have seedlings for their new community garden at the school. Ms. Christy Carr, sixth grade science teacher, remarked: “… the Bright Future Project will help the kids have the knowledge to grow their own food for their families and also helps them connect with elementary kids to pass that knowledge down … so they have a way of teaching their families and people in the community to grow their own food in the future”.