Hearts and Harvests: MLK Day of Service with HISD Nutrition Services

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., HISD’s Nutrition Services Department hosted 86 students at the Food and Agriculture Literacy Center at Mykawa Farm for a day of volunteering, learning, and strategizing to combat food insecurity in the HISD community on Saturday, Jan. 13. Attendees included students from Stevenson Middle School, Kashmere, Wheatley, and Worthing High School students in the Miles Ahead Scholars program, as well as the Texas A&M 4-H Global Leadership Beyond Education (G.L.O.B.E.) program.

Mykawa Farm is a six-and-a-half-acre district-operated farm that HISD students can visit on field trips, providing them with hands-on experiences related to food production, agriculture, nutrition, and environmental science. For this day of service, student volunteers helped to ready garden beds for spring planting and apply frost covers to protect plants and trees from freezing temperatures.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon building our HISD community,” said Dr. Exley G. Warren, Senior Manager of the Miles Ahead Scholars program.

The students from G.L.O.B.E. came from across Texas to spend a day in Houston learning about community food security. They first participated in the Peace through Pie event at Booker T. Washington High School in collaboration with Beauty’s Community Garden. The Stevenson students have been participating in a year-long program from Texas A&M Universities in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) called Grow and Lead Together (GALT).

“I had no idea, that HISD had this kind of program going on for the students,” said Julliette, a Stevenson parent. “Lugging wheelbarrows and digging in the dirt is just a sight to see. All these middle school and high school students working together.”

The day’s activities were not only about learning but also about giving back. The students and Nutrition Services volunteers harvested 160 pounds of collards and mustard greens, bok choy, lettuce, Swiss chard, and herbs that were donated to senior citizens in the Pleasantville community and volunteers embodying the spirit of service that Martin Luther King Jr. championed.

Houston ISD is proud that youth-led initiatives like this one develop our students into productive, civic-minded individuals preparing them for 2035.