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.
- A child born into poverty is twice as likely to be overweight as her affluent peers
- Kids in the south, in areas like North Carolina, Mississippi and Arkansas, suffer especially high rates of obesity
- Half our children of color are expected to develop Type 2 diabetes during their lifetimes
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
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.
FoodCorps is creating a future in which all our nation’s children know what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and have access to it every day. When our work is done, generations that follow will grow up enveloped in a vibrant school food environment––and will go on to lead healthier, more productive and longer lives.
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.