Food from the Hood

Food from the Hood was a high school-based, student-owned, organically farmed products company that also marketed a line of natural salad dressings. Founded in 1993, the non-profit organization was still in business in 2003, during the 10th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots from which it was born.

The program was founded in 1993 in the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. In the wake of the riots, Crenshaw High School biology teacher Tammy Bird, met a non-profit organization, Gardens For Kids, which offered to help her restore the garden in the back of her classroom. Melinda McMullen, a public relations executive, joined Bird shortly thereafter. Together, they offered students at Crenshaw High School the opportunity to help rebuild their community by reclaiming a 1/4-acre weed-infested plot of land behind Bird’s classroom.
Initially, the students decided to grow organic foods and donate 25% of their bounty to a local non-profit organization called “Helpers for the Homeless and the Hungry”. They decided they would sell the rest at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market under the name “Food from the ‘Hood”. At the end of the first year, they had a total of $600, which funded small college scholarships for the three graduating students.