Edible Schoolyard Project Teams Up with FoodCorps

California’s premier school garden teacher-training program will train FoodCorps Fellows.

Jan 22, 2013 – Today, the Edible Schoolyard Project, a nationally renowned pioneer in the fields of garden-based learning and culinary education, announces a new collaboration with FoodCorps called FoodCorps Fellows in the Field. Through the initiative, Edible Schoolyard will provide intensive training to food and health educators from 15 states.

Working through the AmeriCorps network, FoodCorps, fields a nationwide team of leaders, each of whom dedicates a year of full-time public service to improving school food systems. Service members expand hands-on nutrition education programs, build and tend school gardens, and bring high-quality local ingredients into school cafeterias.

Each year, standout graduates of the FoodCorps program are invited back for an additional year as FoodCorps Fellows, providing support, guidance, and mentorship to the service teams in their states. This year, all 15 FoodCorps Fellows will receive world-class training at a special weeklong Edible Schoolyard Academy grounded in ESYP’s 17 years of experience with food-based learning in schools and featuring a range of visiting experts. They will then go on to train the service members in their states, spreading Edible Schoolyard’s integrated approach to education in the garden, kitchen, lunchroom, and classroom.

“The Edible Schoolyard planted the seeds for edible education in America,” said Curt Ellis, Executive Director of FoodCorps. “As we and our partners work to bring food education to a national scale, this collaboration represents a tremendous opportunity for both our organizations: FoodCorps Fellows get to learn from the experts––and the Edible Schoolyard gets to see its knowledge carried out farther into the field.”

“The Edible Schoolyard Project and FoodCorps share a longterm commitment to field-building,” said Katrina Heron, Director of ESYP. “We’re very excited to be offering this professional development to the Fellows.”

Since 1980, the percentage of American children who are overweight or obese has doubled. With one in four U.S. children struggling with hunger and one in three obese or overweight, the Edible Schoolyard and FoodCorps address the root cause of both: access to healthy food.

“FoodCorps Fellows are on the front lines of a critical national project,” said FoodCorps Service Program Director Cecily Upton: “addressing children’s relationship to healthy food.” “We’re proud to be partnering with the Edible Schoolyard Project to do that important work even better.”