Harlem Seeds was founded in 2010 by sisters Michele Hatchette and Stephanie Mack, who were born and raised in Harlem. Deeply committed to their community and its youth, the organization was established to address the most pressing health issues facing Harlem children today. Understanding their responsibility and call to service Harlem, the organization seeks to enrich the community that gave so much to them.
At this time when children in Harlem are suffering from obesity and diabetes at high rates, Harlem Seeds recognizes that we must act now to save our youth. In our community there are often many reasons people say they cannot invest in healthy food or are simply not aware of the negative effects certain foods have on ones health. This is due in large part to lack of exposure and resources. Harlem Seeds is driven to break this trend by working with kids to understand the growing process from seed to table. We do this through hands on learning as kids work in a garden and prepare nutritious meals.
Our aspiration is that every child learns to make the connection between the food they eat and how it impacts their health. We seek to equip them with the knowledge and confidence to grow, select, prepare, and eat healthy food right in their neighborhood. It is our utmost desire to witness a population of young people leading healthy lifestyles for their personal satisfaction and community enrichment.
Rosalind Francis, is the founding Harlem Seeds director of Health and Education Programs. Rosalind believes, “it is the responsibility of a community to cultivate the seeds of tomorrow one child at a time.” Apart from being a founding member of the Harlem Seeds executive team, Chef Roz currently serves as a health consultant for WellCare Health Plans Inc, co-coordinate’s for the Harlem Community Farm Share and was previously coordinator and chef trainer for NYC Food Change (now the Food Bank for New York City). Her passion to improve awareness and self sustainability is evident, with her 20 plus years serving the public as an educator and community activist leader. Rosalind holds a BS in Marketing, MS in Educational Technology, MS in Supervision Administration and is a certified Holistic Health Counselor.