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FoodCorps Expands Programming to Cleveland Metropolitan School District

CLEVELAND, January 31, 2024FoodCorps, a national nonprofit that partners with schools and communities to nourish children’s health, education and sense of belonging, today announced that it will be expanding its programming to reach students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) as part of its Nourishing Futures initiative, an effort by FoodCorps that seeks to ensure all 50 million students in the United States learn about food and have access to nourishing, free meals in school by 2030. Ohio will become the 17th state with FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members. 

During the 2024-2025 school year, FoodCorps will add eight new AmeriCorps members in schools across CMSD to support the district’s work in expanding food education and building relationships with farms in the region. Service members will be working with school nutrition staff, educators and students to conduct taste tests, implement a nutrition education curriculum and help expand school gardens. 

“FoodCorps is excited to be partnering with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to ensure even more students have access to food education and locally sourced, nutritious foods,” said Dr. Robert S. Harvey, President and Co-CEO, FoodCorps. “By joining together with one of the largest school districts in the state—one that’s home to primarily students of color—we see an opportunity to accelerate the work already taking place in Cleveland public schools to make sure every child knows the joy and power of food.” 

CMSD provides free school meals to every student as part of Ohio’s Community Eligibility Provision. Last year, USDA awarded the district with a grant to create new menus and build connections with local food producers. CMSD will soon introduce hydroponic lettuce stations in several schools. CMSD also works with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to provide free fruits and vegetables to families in the community.  

“CMSD Nutrition Services is proud to welcome FoodCorps to Ohio! Our purpose and long-term goal is to change the way students eat,” said Bob Gorman, Executive Director of School Nutrition, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Rebecca Rodriguez, Project Manager, Farm to School, Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

“We believe that this impactful change will be supported and propelled by implementing the following initiatives: education on where their food comes from, engagement within the classroom and community, and improved equity of and access to healthy foods. Through a curriculum built around nutrition education, cafeteria taste tests, and experimenting with multiple methods of growing food, the FoodCorps service members will play an integral role in bringing our vision and mission to life!” 

Applications are now open for FoodCorps’ next cohort of AmeriCorps members, who teach, learn and grow with students in partner schools and communities. Visit foodcorps.org/apply to learn more.

About FoodCorps 
FoodCorps partners with schools and communities to nourish children’s health, education, and sense of belonging so that every child, in every school, experiences the joy and power of food. Our AmeriCorps members serve alongside educators and school nutrition leaders to provide children with nourishing meals, food education, and culturally affirming experiences with food that celebrate and nurture the whole child. Building on this direct service, FoodCorps advocates for policy change, grows networks, and develops leaders in service of every child’s health and well-being. Our goal is that by 2030, every child will have access to food education and nourishing food in school. 

To learn more about FoodCorps’ work across the country, visit foodcorps.org or follow @foodcorps on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.