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We are honored to give a 2023 Youth Food Champion Award to Houda Aden. 

Houda Aden is a teenage Lewiston resident attending Edward Little High School in Auburn. As part of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Fall Gardener Program, Houda worked in the community gardens at both the Nutrition Center and at Hillview, which is part of Lewiston Public Housing.

Community gardens are an important asset to many local residents as sources of nature and community connections, recreation, education, and low cost, healthy and culturally preferred foods.  Community gardens require frequent maintenance during the growing season and Houda and the rest of the Youth Fall Gardeners dedicated themselves to this important work. 

As Katie Collins, one of the Fall Garden programmers, outlines, “Houda proved herself to be a leader amongst her peers. She was curious, committed, and consistent in her work. Her positive attitude was motivational for other young people and her commitment to the necessity of local sustainable agriculture was impressive and inspiring.”

Houda herself explains that “My dad always says, ‘you never know what you have until you don’t have it anymore.’ Be thankful. In this economy, parents are struggling to get their kids the nutrition they need, so I’m so thankful to my parents for teaching me the value of good food.”

Houda hopes to put the knowledge she gained from this work toward an education in biology. Congratulations and thank you to Houda for all the work you’ve done and all the work you’re sure to do going forward.

ABOUT: Those honored with Youth Food Champion Awards are individual youth or youth groups from the greater Lewiston-Auburn area who strive to create a more vibrant and healthy food system from farm-to-fork. Those honored with awards ‘lead by example’ in one, or more, of the five principles of the LA Community Food Charter. Learn more about the other 2023 Food Charter Champion Award winners here.

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