GR8 Inspirations: At Sustainable Family Farm, foster kids grow, eat food

Ashley Rhodes-Courter is the founder of the Sustainable Family Farm.

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) — On a one-acre plot of land nestled in Pinellas Park, Ashley Rhodes-Courter is creating a place for foster kids to come during the summer months.

It’s called the Sustainable Family Farm.

“This summer Monday through Friday, children zero to 18 can come here to the Sustainable Family Farm and get a free lunch every single day, as well as free enrichment activities. That is so important, because people don’t realize that sometimes children don’t have access to food over the weekends, or during summer vacations or spring break,” said Ashley Rhodes-Courter, the founder of Foundation for Sustainable Families.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter knows what children in foster care are feeling, because she spent 10 years of her childhood in the system.

“I remember very vividly what it was like to be hungry and feel like no one listened to me, or that my outcome didn’t matter,” said Rhodes-Courter.

At The Sustainable Family Farm, children will have access to occupational and speech therapy and learn about nutrition and growing foods.

“Dirt is therapy, no pun intended, gardening is therapeutic,” Rhodes-Courter beamed.

“It’s unbelievable to see kids walk over, pick a stock of kale and shove it in their mouth and be so proud that they created the food,” Rhodes-Courter explained.

The farm will be open year round and Rhodes-Courter hopes it will serve as a footprint for the community to come together and help the children.

“It’s important we ensure they have the chance to grow up healthy, happy, fed and loved. I think every child deserves that,” said Rhodes-Courter.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a Gr8 Inspiration.

If you know someone in Tampa Bay through their job, volunteerism or every day living is a Gr8 Inspiration, contact me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or shoot me an email at gguyardo@wfla.com

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