California service member Noah Crosson is helping his students “eat the rainbow”

by Dana M. Nichols

Noah Crosson’s classroom is a garden.

Crosson, 24, grew up on a farm in the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina. He went away to college and learned the many people who don’t grow up on farms don’t know a lot about where food comes from.

Now he is a missionary for fresh, locally grown food. And as one of the first dozen FoodCorps service members assigned to California, he’s on the front lines of the battle to reduce childhood obesity and improve food security for American families.

On Friday, he was hard at it, preaching the value of eating a “rainbow” of different-colored vegetables to fifth-graders seated at tables amid the raised beds, flowers and vines of a garden at Valley Springs Elementary School.

“What if you eat a package of rainbow-colored Skittles?” he asked the children. “Will you get all the nutrition you need?”

The students laughed and answered “no” in a chorus.

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