Challenge & Solution
In the last 30 years, the percentage of overweight or obese children in this country has tripled.
Our country's obesity epidemic discriminates against some children more than others.
- 50% of children of color are expected to develop diabetes during their lifetimes
- Kids in the south, in areas like North Carolina, Mississippi and Arkansas, suffer especially high rates of obesity
- Diet-related disease affects low-income children the most. Arizona's Tohono O'odham Nation, for example, has among the lowest per-capita incomes––and the highest rates of Type II diabetes
What we feed our children, and what we teach them about food in school shapes how they learn, how they grow and how long they will live. All children deserve:
- Knowledge of what healthy food is
- Engagement with fresh fruits and vegetables in a garden
- Access to healthy food in their school cafeterias
The typical elementary student receives just 3.4 hours of nutrition education each year. FoodCorps teaches kids about healthy food and where it comes from. Our service members work alongside teachers to increase the quantity of nutrition education children receive, while dramatically improving its quality through an emphasis on hands-on learning.
School gardens are powerful gateways for getting kids to try new foods. They also bring parents and community members together and help them become advocates for healthier school lunch. FoodCorps builds and tends school gardens and teaches cooking lessons. Our service members give kids the opportunity to cook and taste the fresh food they’ve grown.
Children who know the farmer who grew their broccoli are more likely to eat it. Studies show that children participating in Farm to School programs consume one more serving of fruits and vegetables per day. FoodCorps fills lunch trays with real food from the farm. Our service members forge relationships between school food service directors and local farmers who can supply healthy and sustainable ingredients at scale.