Safe Zone and Johns Hopkins student partner to create Kids Container Cafe

Teaching kids healthy living

BALTIMORE, Md. -
Sandtown-Winchester is trying to rebound since the riots, but there's still vacant homes, drugs and violence.
 
The Kids Safe Zone opened to fill a need, giving children in the area ages 5-17 a place to go after school to eat a meal and engage in activities.
 
CEO of Penn North Ericka Alston-Buck said she's always looking to do more. "Any opportunity to expose the kids to something new and innovative is always a yes from me," she said.
 
Enter Johns Hopkins Senior Christianne Marguerite. She has three majors, one in sustainability, and came to The Kids Safe Zone to see what she could do to help and fulfill her capstone project requirements.
 
"We're in the middle of a food desert or a food swamp because there's a lot of food just not good food," Alston-Buck said.
 
Together they came up with the Kids Container Cafe, where they plan on transforming a shipping container into a space where kids can learn about healthy living.
 
Marguerite cold emailed Hamburd Sud and they agreed to donate a retired container, happy to see it upcycled. The company paid to drop it in The Kids Safe Zone parking lot, where it sits, waiting to become a trendy cafe.
 
Alston-Buck reached out to GoGanics, a food truck company who expressed interest in working with Kids Safe Zone. 
 
"That was the reason we founded GoGanics, to provide organic healthy options to the food desert of Baltimore," GoGanics owner Nureya Monroe said.
 
"[We] incorporate produce into meals so that kids don't really know that they're there, hiding them. So that they can try new things without actually knowing that they're actually trying something new," co-owner and executive chef Gabrielle Lampkin said.
 
"We're hoping to have a kid friendly cafe where the kids can come and eat good food from the GoGanics food truck, as well as learn to cook healthy affordable meals, as well as learn some gardening techniques," Marguerite said the cafe will have a garden roof as well for the community.
 
The shipping container will become seating and a learning area, with a garden roof for the community. The cafe will open in April and feed kids all summer.
 
Marguerite is doing this completely from donations and needs your help to reach $6,000.
 
"I would love any donations, as well as any extra help, if someone can't donate they can share the GoFundMe forward, or contact me through the GoFundMe page," Marguerite said.
 
In September, the container will move to another location in the same area to serve a similar purpose, and will be run by another student this time from MICA.
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