Mini-Grants Keep Alumni Inspiring Healthy Habits

Fostering talent and leadership is one of the goals that energizes us most at FoodCorps. Every day we get to see and hear about our service members thriving in their roles, and we strive to keep supporting them even after their service term ends. That’s why FoodCorps offers mini-grant opportunities to FoodCorps alumni: $500 to support their personal and professional development as emerging leaders in the realms of food, education, agriculture, and health. Our first round of grants were awarded in the fall, and FoodCorps just announced a second round of awards this month. See what our grantees are making happen.

Among the five winners are Lauren Nixon, who will be using her award to support her business startup teaching self-care to women in her hometown of Washington D.C.; funds will go toward building a mobile kitchen for her cooking demos. Alumnus Christopher Chemsak, who served in North Carolina in 2011–2012, will use his award to launch Good Seed, a podcast series about food and community.

FoodCorps’ first round of grants, awarded in the fall, have gone a long way. Recently we heard from Charles Greenlea, a 2015 Mississippi service member who won funds to support his lessons on health and food to middle and high school students, which he conducts through Habesha, a Pan-African organization cultivating youth leadership in his hometown of Atlanta. The grant provided supplies for lessons—soil, lumber, seeds, and more—as well as educational opportunities: students helped build a rainwater catchment system with the lumber and plant seeds to grow greens for tasting and demonstrations. Charles even connected with current Atlanta service member, Bang Tran, for a cooking demonstration using the greens from his classes’ garden. The extra funds helped make Charles’ classes especially memorable for participants. “Many students reported in their evaluation of the class how much they enjoyed the hands-on activities and lessons, and that this was their favorite class.” Here’s to the next group of alumni keeping kids inspired to eat healthy in schools!