Curing Childhood Obesity One Garden at a Time

Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the last 30 years. To help quell the problem, programs around the Bay Area offer students hands-on education that focuses on the importance of eco-friendly gardening and eating the resulting fresh bounty.


On the Peninsula, The HEAL Project of Half Moon Bay (a nonprofit organization that stands for Health, Education, Agriculture and Learning) has partnered with the San Mateo County Health Department and a local farmer to provide the city’s third-through seventh-graders a science-based curriculum on two acres of coastside farmland.


Since 2006, The HEAL Project has delivered thousands of hours of instruction and guided activities. More than 3,200 students have received nutrition education, along with gardening and fitness experiences throughout the school day.


“As someone concerned with environmental, community and personal health, I’m thrilled that students have the opportunity to actively engage with our food system and critically consider the ways we dictate its development,” says Chris Beetley-Hagler, The HEAL Project’s school farm coordinator.


To learn more about The HEAL Project, visit


– Tiffany Carboni

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