[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 77 (Friday, June 17, 1994)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[Congressional Record: June 17, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                     TRIBUTE TO FOOD FROM THE 'HOOD


                          HON. JULIAN C. DIXON

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, June 17, 1994

  Mr. DIXON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay special tribute to a 
dynamic and enterprising group of Crenshaw High School students who 
have formed the Nation's first student-owned natural foods company: 
Food from the 'Hood. Founded in October 1992, Food from the 'Hood has 
an ambitious company mission that seeks to illustrate the potential of 
young adults and provide them with jobs, give back to the community, 
and prove that businesses can be socially responsible and profitable. 
Remarkably, the students have successfully marketed their first 
product, Straight Out 'the Garden Creamy Italian Salad Dressing, at 
over 10 major grocery chains throughout southern California; overall, 
about 2,000 stores are expected to carry this product. Projected 
estimates of annual profits total between $100,000 to $200,000, which 
will go toward scholarships for the student-owners and contributions to 
local charities.
  In response to the Los Angeles disturbances, a science teacher at 
Crenshaw High School, Ms. Tammy Bird, encouraged her students to 
restore the school's garden and give the food to the needy. On December 
18, 1992, the students reaped their first harvest and donated it to a 
local food bank, Helpers for the Homeless and the Hungry. While always 
giving at least 25 percent to the needy, the students also sold 
produce, enabling them to provide 600 dollars' worth of college 
scholarships to three graduating students. With the help of Ms. Melinda 
McMullen, a former marketing executive, the students soon expanded 
their base and formalized the concept of a student-owned business.
  All student-owners participate in an intensive employee development 
program that, through a points system, determine individual scholarship 
amounts. Students earn points by working in the business, maintaining 
high academic grades, and devoting time in college preparatory 
activities; points can be taken away for not meeting these obligations. 
Tutoring in math, science, English, and Spanish are also offered. 
Scholarships are determined by calculating the percentage of total 
points earned, with a potential for acquiring points worth up to 
$15,000 a year. Any profits above the scholarship margins will be 
donated to various community initiatives.
  The students' persistence and dedication, combined with the support 
of Crenshaw High School administrators and faculty, have yielded an 
enthusiastic response from the community. Their efforts have garnered 
the patronage of Mr. Norris Bernstein, the Weingart Foundation, the 
city of Los Angeles Community Development Department, the California 
Community Foundation, RLA--formerly referred to as Rebuild L.A.--and 
countless other businesses and professionals. Nonetheless, in addition 
to promoting their salad dressing, the students continue to operate the 
garden and market at Crenshaw High School.
  It is a pleasure to recognize the following innovative students who 
share ownership in Food from the 'Hood: Angelica Becerra, Shannon 
Burton, Karla Becerra, Marshon Caulton, Seak Chan, Kahlelah Croom, 
Charo Darwin, Leonie Felix, Dennis Fomond, Jaynell Grayson, LaTosha 
Hayden, Kristi Hernandez, Zakiya Hill, Ketric Jenkins, Naeisha Jones, 
Carlos Lopez, Ivan Lopez, Mary Lucas, Rashard MaGee, Maurice McNeely, 
Brian Morris, Ben Osborne, LaChentia Patton, Natasha Proby, Edwin 
Rhodes, Kendal Robinson, Michael Santos, Santana Scott, Mark Sarria, 
Kabeer Smith, Jasmine Talley, Sommer Tillett, Osofu Washington, Luther 
Waters, and Maria Wilson.
  Mr. Speaker, I am extremely proud of Food from the 'Hood's astounding 
accomplishments, and ask my colleagues in the House of Representatives 
to join me in commending the 35 student-owners. In devising a means 
through which they could further their education and enhance the 
quality of life within their community, these young entrepreneurs have 
served as examples for our youth and have provided a source of much-
needed hope to the inner-city community of Los Angeles.