Banneker soccer player commits to healthy eating at Common Good Community Garden

6:36 PM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
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Reporting by Diane Roberts

WASHINGTON (WUSA 9) -- Gessika Bridgeforth is a sophomore at Banneker High School in the District.

She says playing soccer makes her feel free.

"She's very, very aggressive, very persistent and always comes back very hard," said coach Kate Mansfield.

And even though Banneker loses more games than they win, Gessika loves playing for her team, although the sport isn't her only passion. After school, Number Six trades in the soccer field for the field of food -- Common Good City Farm -- which grows food for the city's low-income population. 

So far this year, they've harvested 4,600 pounds of food. Besides their small staff, the farm employs five kids as part of their fall youth program, and Gessika is one of them.

"In the summer youth program, I learned a lot of different things ... I learned to be more responsible and public speaking," said Gessika, who discovered the farm after a bout with bad fast food that made them sick.

"My mom and I have a garden on our balcony, and since coming to farm we've learned how to maintain that garden and take food we need from [it] and appropriate it for our daily meals.

Since discovering Common Good, Gessika and her mom have turned around their way of eating.

"My mom thinks it's a better, more organic way to grow food and I like it a lot because I know where our food is coming from," said Gessika.

The farm's motto is: "Healthy food is a right, not a privilege."

This soccer playing gardener hopes to keep kicking bad food to the curb and exercising her right to healthy eating.

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