Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FoodCorps thrives in its second year of service

HildeFoodCorps was launched in 2011 with the goals of addressing childhood obesity in limited-resource communities while training the next generation of food and farm leaders.

Now in its second year, FoodCorps is thriving, reaching over 40,000 children since August through the dedication and commitment of 80 FoodCorps Service Members, 12 FoodCorps Fellows and 1,300+ community volunteers across 12 states. Through hands-on nutrition education, establishing and tending school gardens and bringing local farm-fresh food into public school cafeterias, FoodCorps is using the power of food to promote learning, health and stewardship.

I am grateful to be a part of the FoodCorps mentorship program again this year, and have the great pleasure of getting to know Daniel Chamberlain, Service Member with CitySprouts at Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury, MA – just down the road from Farm Aid's office in Cambridge. I look forward to doing a site visit in the spring to see Dan and his student’s good efforts sprouting, and will post some pictures when I do. For now, I asked Dan to share a bit about his experience. Here's what he had to say:

After I first read about FoodCorps, I can remember thinking 'that just makes sense.' The whole idea just seemed so elegant and timely. After spending the past five months teaching kids about healthy food, and sharing in the experience of working with food from seed to plate, my interest in education and food have been re-affirmed. And it's showed me how fun teaching and working with food can truly be!

When I see my students help newcomers to the garden plant and harvest food, and then practice what they’ve learned by teaching others how to chop garlic, or put a healthy spin on pizza, my face hurts from smiling. Being witness to moments like those are overwhelming, for I get the sense that my students are now on their way to fostering an enduring relationship with healthy food for themselves, and everyone around them.

We couldn’t agree more about the importance of fostering enduring relationships with healthy food, and are thrilled to know so many children will find deeper value in the work of family farmers and a deeper connection to good food through the FoodCorps effort. We are proud to be connected to such a fantastic program and a stellar young leader like Daniel!

Check out this great video featuring current FoodCorps Service Members and kids impacted by Food Corps' work about what they want to be when they grow up!

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