Jan 15 2012
New York, NY – January 10, 2012- Today, FoodCorps, a national organization that addresses childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities, opens applications for its second annual class of service members. The selected emerging leaders will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems – expanding hands-on nutrition education programs, building and tending school gardens, and sourcing fresh, healthy, local food for school cafeterias.
In its first year FoodCorps gained national attention by attracting 1,229 applicants for just 50 positions, and by providing an innovative, grassroots, scalable approachto solving our national obesity epidemic. Since 1980, the percentage of American children who are overweight or obese has doubled. With one in four U.S. children struggling with hunger and one in three obese or overweight, FoodCorps addresses the root cause of both: access to healthy food.
The first class of service members have already made a difference in their local schools—from getting hundreds of pounds of local sweet potatoes onto cafeteria trays, to revitalizing and building 137 school and community gardens, to engaging 250 local volunteers. “America’s children deserve a healthy school food environment. The leaders who serve in FoodCorps are the changemakers who can make that vision a reality,” said Executive Director Curt Ellis.
FoodCorps seeks up to 100 men and women with a passion for serving their country as AmeriCorps service members by building healthy communities in 12 states around the country. In addition to the 10 states where it currently operates—Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oregon—FoodCorps plans to expand to Connecticut and Montana in 2012.
“We are looking for passionate people interested in forging careers in building a better food system,” said Cecily Upton, FoodCorps Service Program Director.
“FoodCorps can help them get hands-on experience to build a future career in food, agriculture, and public health.”
FoodCorps service member Graham Downey serving in Mississippi explained his passion for his position saying “My ‘entry-level position’ involves deep responsibility for real-world projects that directly improve lives. My ‘workplace’ is a garden.”
Applications are due March 25th. Emerging leaders interested in getting more information should go to http://foodcorps.org/become-a-service-member.
FoodCorps is a national service organization that seeks to address childhood obesity by increasing vulnerable children’s knowledge of, engagement with, and access to healthy food. Service members build and tend school gardens, conduct nutrition education, and facilitate Farm to School programming that brings healthy, affordable local food into public schools. The program also trains a cadre of leaders for careers in food and agriculture.