FoodCorps connects kids to healthy food in school, so they can lead healthier lives and reach their full potential.
Our AmeriCorps leaders deliver our program in high-need schools, focusing on
- HANDS-ON LESSONS
They teach cooking, gardening and tasting since kids love foods they have grown and prepared themselves.
- HEALTHY SCHOOL MEALS
HEALTHY SCHOOL MEALS
They create a cafeteria that steers students towards the healthiest options and gets them excited to try new healthy foods.
- A SCHOOLWIDE CULTURE OF HEALTH
A SCHOOLWIDE CULTURE OF HEALTH
They help the whole school community— everything from the teachers to the hallways to the bake sales—celebrate healthy food.
Building on this foundation of direct impact, FoodCorps pursues systemic strategies that will benefit all of our nation’s 100,000 schools.
Healthy food is an essential building block for a full life. But right now, we’ve got a generation of children that is overweight, vulnerable to diet-related disease, and more likely to suffer from a variety of health problems that will hold them back throughout their lifetimes.
- One in three of our nation’s children are on track to develop diabetes in their lifetime. For kids of color, it’s one in two.
- Children and adults who suffer from diet-related diseases score lower on tests, miss more days of school, advance less in their careers, and raise children who are likely to repeat the same cycle.
Together with communities, FoodCorps serves to connect kids to healthy food in school.
We are creating a future in which all our nation’s children––regardless of race, place, or class––know what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and eat it every day. Through our work, future generations will grow up to lead healthier and more productive lives.
Learn more about our approach
More than 30 million kids rely on schools for lunch, and more than 12 million for breakfast. Schools can help shape a child’s relationship with food—and the eating habits they’ll carry for their whole lives. Our school-based program helps schools be places where kids have more opportunities to eat healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables—and teaches them to love those foods and eat them on a daily basis.
We are continually measuring the impact of our work—from children’s eating patterns to our ability to transform schools into oases of health— to ensure we’re making a difference.
How we measure our impact, and how we’re doing >>
“Schools are uniquely positioned to be a national focal point for obesity prevention…” —Institute of Medicine, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation
FoodCorps sprang from the grassroots up: a national initiative that thousands of local voices shaped according to their needs.
The first conversation occurred on Earth Day 2009, the day President Obama signed the Kennedy Serve America Act into law. This legislation signaled a new opportunity to engage AmeriCorps in building a more healthful, equitable food system.
Six people led a process shaping what eventually became FoodCorps, but it was a crowd-sourced and community-supported initiative from the start. Our development was informed by a large group planning summit and monthly open conference calls, with thousands of participants.
Founding team (pictured above): Jerusha Klemperer, Curt Ellis (now our CEO), Crissie McMullan, Ian Cheney, Debra Eschmeyer (formerly Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Nutrition Policy Advisor to the President), and Cecily Upton (now our VP of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships).
Our Founding Partners
National Farm to School Network
Slow Food USA
The National Center for Appropriate Technology
with key additional support from Occidental College, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Community Fellows Program and the W.K.Kellogg Foundation.
- We believe big things are possible. We are committed to building a solution that matches the vast scale of the problem, and to approaching and evaluating our work with a rigor that makes our ambitious vision a reality.
- We believe everyone should be welcome at the table. Ensuring that all our nation’s children have the chance to eat healthy food requires us to embrace working across individual, cultural and political differences.
- We believe leaders fuel change. We invest in people who model practical and humble leadership, give them exceptional training and experiences, and connect them to each other, cultivating social capital at every level.
- We believe healthy food has healthy roots. So the food we serve is truly nourishing, we strive for it to be good for the people who grow, harvest, prepare and eat it, and for the lands and waters where it is produced.
- We believe in trying new things. We celebrate curiosity and innovation, and seek to improve, adapt and evolve our approach in order to hone our program, strengthen our impact, and build a better FoodCorps.
- We believe it takes a more just organization to create a more just world. To achieve our mission, we must foster diversity and set patterns of equity in both our end goal and the road we take to get there.