Our Impact

Our Impact

An edible education is about more than just food

Our work nurtures healthy school communities where students can thrive socially, emotionally, academically, and physically. Our programs sit at the intersection of food, wellness, education, and sustainability, and supports students, families, and school communities. We believe this work is fundamental to a better future, preparing young people to lead the way for community wellbeing and equity, and ultimately a more just and sustainable future for all.

Our Programs

Our programs include: 

  • Hands-on cooking and gardening classes that all students participate in as part of their school day
  • Extracurriculars and clubs, cafeteria tastings, and family and community events
  • Food distributions like farmstands and recipe kits
  • Professional development workshops

Our programming and curriculum is culturally responsive to students’ backgrounds, reinforces core curriculum like math, science, and reading, supports social-emotional learning, and builds student commitment to environmental justice. At the heart of our school programs are our gardens, which serve as a food production space, as well as a joyful and welcoming green space and outdoor classroom for the entire community.

Our Reach


Taught at our direct service schools in 2021-2022


Direct public school sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx


at our community programs

Impacts Inside and Outside of ESYNYC

Based on surveys this year, parents and school teachers have shared that our students are growing socially-emotionally, choosing healthier foods, and engaging more in their other classes and at home.

Teachers say:

  • Two out of three teachers report students are making academic connections between ESYNYC lessons and core classes, like math and science
  • 79% of teachers say students feel safe, welcome, and excited to participate in ESYNYC programming
  • Over half of teachers report students are positively engaged, not only in ESYNYC lessons but in other classes as well

Parents report:

ESYNYC programming is shifting students’ relationship with food. They report their students are more mindful about their food choices, more adventurous about trying new foods, and applying the lessons they learn at home.

2021-2022 Activities

kitchen and garden lessons taught
food distributions to students and families
pounds of produce harvested in our school gardens

Our Results

Our programs impact students, families, schools, and educators.
  • Students engage in and enjoy our programming, leading to more school engagement overall
      • Measured through school staff and professional development participant surveys, and ESYNYC staff observations
      • Time is already up!? It goes by so fast when we are having fun” -5th grader at P.S./M.S. 7
    • Students develop commitment to food and environmental justice, demonstrated by their leadership on green initiatives in their school communities
      • Measured through end-of-year student reflection interviews and ESYNYC staff observations of student leadership
      • Dozens of students participate in school leadership activities through our programs each year, including the Green Team, Harvest Club, Farm Stand Leaders. Students from P.S. 216’s Green Team successfully implemented a new school-wide recycling system in 2019, bringing recycling to campus for the first time ever. After their training, they were confident enough to give feedback to school administration, urging their principal to improve her own recycling sorting.
    • Students grow socially and emotionally, demonstrated through self- and social-awareness, relationship skills, and decision-making, which are tied to success in school and in life
      • Measured through student, family, and school staff surveys
      • 77% of students reported feeling confident working with people who are different than them
    • Our programs support robust academic experiences, with lessons that align to core concepts and skills in main school subjects, such as science, math, reading, writing, and social studies
      • Measured through school staff interviews and surveys and ESYNYC staff lesson observations
      • 82% of school staff reported observing their students making connections to core academic subjects during our lessons
      • I get it now!” -Evergreen Middle School sixth grader to their classroom teacher, as we led our class on equivalent ratios and pancakes 


  • Students are more willing to try plant-based foods and learn to love eating them.
    • Measured through student surveys and in-lesson observations
    • 96% of our students tried the food in ESYNYC lessons
    • Families participate in edible education programming, through activities like family cooking nights and wellness festivals
      • Measured through family program attendance tracking
      • 700 families attended an ESYNYC event at P.S. 216 in 2019, compared to 12 at our first recorded family event there in 2013.


  • Families have increased access to plant-based food through healthy, local food distribution
    • Measured through family program attendance tracking
    • We distributed 6,235 meals, snacks, produce bags, and recipe kits in 2020-21.
    • 1,865 customers came to our 55 farmstand sessions in 2019-20, where we sold roughly 50% of our garden harvest.
  • The benefits of healthy school communities radiate out to our students and their families through wellness-focused curriculum, nutritious school meals, and healthy school policies
    • Measured through the Healthy Schools Progress Report (HSPR) annually
    • Our schools scored in the top category “Flourishing” on the Healthy Schools Progress Report, which is higher than national and NYC averages*
    • My favorite thing about having ESYNYC at P.S. 311 this year was that they support our school vision of having a healthy food culture and provide educational sessions and activities that support those goals and vision.” -P.S. 311 school staff
  • Our professional development workshops prepare a city-wide cohort of educators to implement kitchen and garden lessons in their own classrooms
    • Measured through professional development participant surveys
    • 100% of PD participants said that they would use something they in our workshop in their own classroom
    • We need to start a health and nutritional education revolution. Especially now, this is the time.” -Professional Development Participant



Read our evaluation findings for yourself here.

*Data and quotes are from 2018-2021