FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOODCORPS TO JOIN FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA AT SIXTH ANNUAL WHITE HOUSE KITCHEN GARDEN PLANTING
On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM ET, FoodCorps will join First Lady Michelle Obama and local students to plant the White House Kitchen Garden. In 2009, Mrs. Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation, a conversation that FoodCorps proudly participates in every day in over 400 schools around the country.
"The First Lady’s leadership on child health through Let’s Move! has been an inspiration to this nation,” said Debra Eschmeyer, FoodCorps Co-founder and VP of External Affairs. "To grow a nation of well-nourished children requires families and schools, public and private leaders, parents and teachers and volunteers, all rolling up our sleeves together. The seeds cultivated on the White House lawn have sprouted and grown into signs that a healthier future for our children is within reach."
This year, Mrs. Obama invited the founders of FoodCorps and six FoodCorps service members to join her at the garden planting. FoodCorps’ nationwide team of leaders perform a year of AmeriCorps service in limited-resource communities where they conduct hands-on food education, build and tend school gardens, and help get high-quality local food into public school cafeterias.
Serving under the direction of state and community partners, FoodCorps members across the country dedicate a year of public service to help children grow up in healthy school food environments. This fall, in partnership with the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education, FoodCorps plans to serve local DC schools, Cleveland Elementary School, Friendship Public Charter School, and Kimball Elementary School. Students from these schools will also attend the garden planting.
"FoodCorps service members play a critical role in the drive to end childhood obesity,” said FoodCorps Co-founder and CEO Curt Ellis. “Their task is clear: to carry the magic of what's happening at the White House today out to schools across the country. From Montana to Mississippi, our AmeriCorps members are building school gardens and helping children learn to love healthy food.”
In attendance will be four of FoodCorps’ co-founders as well as six service members from around the country:
- Curt Ellis (CEO); Debra Eschmeyer (Vice President of External Affairs); Jerusha Klemperer (Communications Director); Cecily Upton (Vice President of Service Program);
- Eileen Garcia (Woodbridge, CT): Eileen serves with non-profit Massaro Farm, at the following schools: Ansonia Middle School, Ansonia High School, Mead School, and Prendergast School;
- Whitney Smith (Detroit, MI): Whitney is serving a second FoodCorps service term at the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, with the following schools: Timbuktu Academy of Science and Technology, Muhammed University of Islam, and Shrine of the Black Madonna Nursery School;
- Greg Beach (Boston, MA): Greg serves with the non-profit City Sprouts, at the following schools: Fletcher Maynard Academy, Tobin Montessori School, King Open School, Vassal Lane Upper School, Cambridgeport School, and Cambridge Street Upper School;
- Tim Williams (Wilmington, NC): Tim serves with non-profit Feast Down East, at the following schools: Snipes Academy of Art and Design, Forest Hills Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Rachel Freeman School of Engineering, Supply Elementary, and Town Creek Elementary.
- Sarah Ting (Oakland, CA): Sarah serves with Oakland Unified School District at Garfield Elementary School;
- Alexis Sangalang (Camden, NJ): Alexis serves with the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids with the following schools: Holy Name School, E.C.O. Charter School, Early Childhood Development Center Respond, Inc., Center for Family Services, Head Start, and D.U.E. Season Charter School.