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Join us for this episode of the Good Tidings Podcast, with host Larry Harper—Founder of the Good Tidings Foundation. This podcast is all about highlighting the good in people and what individuals are doing to make an impact in this world for the benefit of others, in order to inspire a community of givers! Today, Larry invites guest Ayesha Curry, Co-Founder of the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation. Good Tidings Podcast

Eat. Learn. Play. is based in Oakland, California and is committed to fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring students have access to a quality education, and providing safe places for all children to play and be active. All three of these mission pillars have individually been close to Ayesha’s and her husband and co-founder’s heart. She realized early on that in conjunction, these three pillars go hand in hand and serve as the foundation for a happy childhood and, ultimately, a happy life. Being so immersed in the Oakland community, they were able to observe the gaps and needs firsthand.

During the pandemic, Eat. Learn. Play. distributed 16 million meals. Ayesha recalls the board meeting that was held just before COVID hit in which they established a plan should the pandemic cut school and daycare programs. In addition to feeding children, they worked alongside World Central Kitchen to help restaurants stay afloat and maintain food service employment. Ayesha’s roots for food passion goes all the way back to childhood. She recalls always loving to cook but was unaware it was something she could make a career of. To her, food is a vessel for change, communication and bringing people together. Last month, she testified in front of Congress on childhood hunger, one of the most nerve-wracking moments of her life. She found that everyone was very receptive to listening to her perspective. Her goal was to shed light on all of the people faced with this devastation and encourage Congress to continue with meal programs.

Their goal for this upcoming year is to really activate the learn pillar. Only 18% of Black and Latino students are at reading level in the Oakland School District. Not having the literacy skills you need is a domino effect, and likely everything else will fall apart. They are working towards engaging with these young students falling behind and encouraging them to read and turn that number around.

Every donation to Eat. Learn. Play. goes directly back into the community. Kind people attract kind people, and the foundation’s team is no exception to that. Then, she speaks of her husband Steph’s kindhearted nature in admiration. It is important for them to work with other organizations who really want to do right and work towards similar goals. While her faith does play a part in what she does, her real driving force is humanity. Their goal has always been to start small and really master the works before branching out, which they plan to do eventually. They encourage others to have similar missions in their own communities.

In closing, Ayesha touches on her new production company with a female-empowerment focus. Sweet July Productions was launched a year and a half ago and focuses on four key pillars in their content: faith, food, female empowerment and family. The idea was to create media people can enjoy and share with her children as well.

Learn more about Eat. Learn. Play.
Follow Sweet July Productions on Instagram.
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