FoodCorps is devoted to understanding the impact our activities are having on people, places, and systems. We aim to produce a measurably healthier school food environment and serve as a resource to researchers across the school food field.
“It takes more than books for children to learn. And FoodCorps teaches kids to love real food so they eat it when I put it on the tray.”
—Betti Wiggins, Executive Director of the Office of Food Services at Detroit Public Schools
What We Measure
Changes in attitudes: Studying sample groups in our first year, we learned that 65% of service members’ participating classrooms demonstrably improved their attitudes toward trying new fruits and vegetables. Kids’ attitudes toward healthy foods are an important precursor to adopting lifelong healthy behaviors. This survey was done in partnership with the University of North Carolina’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and findings from our second year will be available in late 2013.
Changes in schools: Through the FoodCorps Landscape Assessment, we measure changes happening across each of our participating schools that help make them healthier places to learn, work, and play. Since schools are where kids spend the majority of their day, it’s critical that the surrounding environment supports them in making healthy decisions and developing healthy habits. In the last year, 66% of our schools made better use of their gardens. Another 60% made improvements to their cafeteria environments to promote healthy eating.
Changes at home: We are interested in understanding how FoodCorps’ lessons reach beyond the garden and classroom and into the home. We are currently developing a pilot survey with researchers at California Polytechnic University to collect feedback from parents whose children have received instruction from our service members, so we can better understand the impact FoodCorps is having at the family dinner table and in the grocery aisle––not just on the lunch line.
"The kale chip taste test went amazingly. The elementary school kids and 6th graders loved them so much they wanted seconds and thirds. Because of this great response, our Food Service Director is going to add them to the lunch menu." — service member in Connecticut