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Mar 23, 2023

Owner of Salad Franchise Supports School Growing Veggies

Tonight, we bring you the follow up to a story we aired on a Look on the Bright Side only two weeks ago. Children in San Jose Succotz were growing their own vegetables to test a hypothesis put forward by their teacher. The update, however, is a result of your reaction to the initial piece, as well as a direct message shared by the owner of a salad franchise in the U.S. Isela Tesucum not only didn’t expect a reaction from the owner, she also didn’t expect the donation that would follow.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

Remember these kids? Two weeks ago, we brought you the story of students at San Jose Succotz RC School and their initiative to prove a hypothesis on eating vegetables. Their teacher, Isela Tesucum, used a learning outcome to solve a plight many parents experience, getting their kids to enjoy eating vegetables. The story was very well received and Tesucum was even recognized in the House of Representatives by Minister of Education Francis Fonseca during the budget debate. But what Isela Tesucum did not expect was a foreigner, the owner of a salad franchise in Houston, Texas, seeing the story and reaching out to commend her on the impact of that initiative. Joe Piro is the owner of Salata.

Joe Piro

Joe Piro, Owner, Salata
“And our restaurant is based on vegetables. We’re a salad kitchen where it’s, uh, create your own salad concept. And so, we deal in, in an enormous amount of fresh vegetables every. So, when I saw this story, I immediately connected with it, you know, because that’s what I do for a living.”


Piro contacted Tesucum online and expressed his interest in supporting the cause, as well as the children’s goals to continue growing their veggies. But when he announced the amount that he was donating, Tesucum was pleasantly surprised.

Isela Tesucum

Isela Tesucum, Teacher
I was like, well, thank you so much. You know, I really am very happy and I welcome whatever you want to give us. And then like the following day, I got another text and he said, you know, um, I am planning on donating $10,000. And I was like, what? $10,000? I was like, wow, that’s a small donation? I don’t want to know what the big is like. I was so excited, I couldn’t believe it.”
Joe Piro
“So, um, I went and I met, uh, with Miss Isela, the teacher, and her principal, and, uh, we walked around and, and met the students in the classroom and I presented them with a ten-thousand-dollar donation with hopes that this program would continue and be a permanent part of the school in their curriculum.”


When we spoke with the principal of the school two weeks ago, he mentioned long-term goals of making the project an established garden that could support the cafeteria, as well as needy students. Today, we learned that those plans will materialize much sooner and perhaps even bigger than expected.

Isela Tesucum
So now he can really make it a reality. And today he told them, Mr. Joseph, that our garden is going to carry his name. So yeah, we are going to start the garden now. We’ll be able to buy the tools and all that so the kids will not have to be planting in a little pot anymore. We’re lucky enough we might even get that greenhouse.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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