Post contributed by OSSE Dietetic Interns.
The 1st of September marks the beginning of many things: the beginning of the new school year, cooler weather, and also the beginning of service for the service members of FoodCorps Washington, D.C. After a wonderful orientation this morning, it is not only the beginning of a new service term, but the beginning of a new D.C. adventure.
This morning, 13 passionate, fresh faces came to OSSE in downtown Washington, D.C. to begin their journey building healthier futures for children. They will be teaching children in D.C. public and charter schools about food and nutrition with activities like gardening and cooking. The morning began with an introduction from the state fellow Maddie Morales as well as the state Host Site Supervisors, Erica Walther and Sam Ullery. It was clear that these three make a great team and support system for the D.C. Service Members, providing education tools, expert gardening skills, and a vast knowledge of D.C.
After a few icebreakers and some bonding time, the service members heard from Brian Rohal. Brian is a longtime history teacher in DC with a background in law, who talked to the service members about the D.C. historical trends. Whether they were born and raised in D.C. or just moved here three days ago, everyone in the room was excited and captivated by this knowledge of their new service communities. In just over an hour, FoodCorps Washington, D.C. members learned a full overview about how D.C.’s layout was designed and about its diverse and ever changing cultures.
They were also introduced to OSSE’s Healthy Schools Act Initiative Team and learned about the abundant resources and knowledge the team has to offer. From data and policy experts to fitness specialists to gardening gurus, there is no absence of support for the 13 new food warriors about to enter the city.
Not only did the service members learn about the living, breathing resources available to them, but they also received “goodie bags” as a starter pack to use in the schools and sites they will be working with. One of the coolest resources was a “Garden Planning” poster that shows every fruit and vegetable you can think of and the best months to start them, grow them, and harvest them. They received tons of goodies in these bags and were even provided with a buggy to wheel them around the city in!
All this talk about wonderful fruits and vegetables, the service members were ready to eat! They enjoyed a salad from sweetgreen with the supervisor at their specific community site and learn more about their site.
After a wonderful morning and a great lunch, the service members were excited and ready to head off to orientation at their sites for the second half of the day. As each FoodCorps service member wheeled their buggies full of goodies out one by one, there was a feeling of incredible potential for a year full of growing, learning, munching, and crunching ahead…