Sophie Bernstein is a high school junior from St. Louis, MO. She started growing an organic vegetable garden in her backyard to help fight hunger in her community. After visiting area food banks to donate her crops, she discovered that there were limited fresh produce options available for families utilizing the food banks. Sophie took action and engaged her peers to help, build, plant and maintain raised vegetable garden beds at low-income pre-schools in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Sophie and her team of volunteers have built 22 raised garden vegetable beds at area pre-schools and shelters. She has donated over 9,500 pounds of produce to local food banks.
Sophie's Pre-School Garden service learning projects gives urban pre-school children and their families access to fresh produce and the opportunity to learn from high schools students about plants, life, and health in an outdoor environment. By offering young children the chance to plant seeds, learn about the garden from teens, watch their crops grow, and harvest the crops directly from their play-place, to put that freshest possible fruits and vegetable directly into their mouths, a lasting connection is made between the source of food, healthy eating habits, positive community role models, and a love and wonder for the earth.
Sophie was selected for The Alliance for A Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board for her commitment to promoting health and fitness in her community. When Sophie is not out in the garden, you can often find her in the outfield trying to catch softballs for her high school team, hiking with her dad or throwing the discus for her high school track and field team.