“There are teenagers who prefer apples and tossed salads over sodas and fries – and not because they are dieting. Matthew Johnson, 19, a June graduate of University City High School, is Exhibit A. Johnson and his older brother and sister live with their mother, a kidney patient on dialysis 11 hours a day, in a rowhouse they share with four aunts and uncles.
He grew up on a food-stamps subsistence diet – eating what he thought was easy and cheap – hot dogs, canned stews, chips. Gradually, through a youth development program that engages, educates, and empowers through the familiarity we all share with food, Johnson learned how much more nourishing a meal can be on a food-stamp budget.
And now he is an advocate for change.”