Hi, we're Akasa! We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides a diversified wellness curriculum in partnership with public schools in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles. Students and families learn about the process of growing, harvesting, sourcing and cooking food and examine their own neighborhood food system to make informed choices about their overall health + wellness.
Founded by Ashleigh J Parsons, Harvard University, EdM, in 2012, in collaboration with a community of likeminded chefs, farmers, artists and activists, Akasa is a response to the lack of healthy food opportunities that exist for low-income youth living in food deserts in Los Angeles. Akasa administers an intensive, weekly wellness curriculum that uses cooking, gardening and mindfulness to reconnect students with their bodies. Akasa currently provides the curriculum to 200 low-income students ages 6-18 on a weekly basis, reaching over 7,000 students on a yearly basis. The team is made up of an exceptional community of urban agriculturists, chefs and educators who instruct the weekly curriculum.
“Through the Akasa program, I have learned how to make meals out of natural ingredients and I have personally grown to enjoy eating salads and now even prefer them over most junk. I am honestly extremely grateful I had the opportunity to take this class because I have learned so many things in terms of cooking and being able to use organic vegetables”
— JAIME RIVAS, STUDENT AT CAMINO NUEVO
- Simple, Accessible, Nourishing Cooking Classes
- Gardening Curriculum covering raised beds and hydroponic towers
- Urban Agriculture
- Environmental Justice
- Mindfulness Curriculum
- Wellness Curriculum
- Parent Workshops
- Teacher Workshops
- Professional Development Classes
- Nutritional Workshops
CURIOUS HOW YOU CAN STAY INVOLVED? Or Curious how to support Akasa?
1) Spread awareness! Akasa is still a young organization so please continue to share with those who are interested in food justice & food access.
2) Offer your passion and skill set. In addition to classroom volunteers, they welcome professionals to share their talents. Photographers, graphic designers, videographers and access to more schools are all welcome and needed.
3) Follow them. Their Instagram handle is @akasa.community
4) Reach out. Founder Ashleigh Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or Director Veda Romero at email@example.com with more questions or talk about how you can get involved.
5) Donate. And if donating dollars is your thing, please visit the "Donate" page to make a contribution.