FoodCorps connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy by placing motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service. Working under the direction of local partner organizations, FoodCorps implements a three-ingredient recipe for healthy kids by having Service Members:
- Teach kids about what healthy food is and where it comes from
- Build and tend school gardens
- Bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias
Through the hands and minds of participants, FoodCorps strives to give all youth an enduring relationship with healthy food by providing children with the knowledge about what healthy food is, how it grows and where it comes from, and ensuring that they have access to it every day; the organization also supports its Service Members as emerging leaders who, having invested a year of public service creating healthy food environments for children, will go on to become farmers, chefs, educators and public health leaders.
FoodCorps identifies local organizations that are doing effective work on the ground, and arms them with Service Members who expand their reach and amplify their impact. Current service sites are in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oregon – and the program is adding new sites and states as funding allows and anticipates operating in all 50 states by 2020. Admission to FoodCorps is highly selective: more than 1,000 candidates apply to serve each year. When they graduate, FoodCorps Service Members enter the diverse fields of food armed with a network of relationships and an ethic of service that last a lifetime.
The impact is tangible: “I know I’m making an impact when a student voraciously eats green beans at the end of a lesson when he insisted he would never touch one at the beginning,” says Service Member Robyn Wardell while Massachusetts 3rd Grade Teacher Kaily Mione notes, “The garden has allowed the students to have a hands-on approach to learning. It has brought ‘real world’ experiences into the classroom, by allowing students to get their hands dirty. As a teacher it is exciting to see my students so engaged in learning.”
Visit the FoodCorps website to learn if your site or school could benefit from a FoodCorps Service Member and to be a part of nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy!