FoodCorps and CoBank Continue Partnership to Foster Farm-to-School Relationships
Partnership will continue to strengthen local economy and deliver nutritional education and healthy food access in key states
New York, May 10, 2021 – FoodCorps today announced the continuation of its partnership with CoBank, a mission-based cooperative lender and one of the largest private providers of credit to the rural economy. Since its creation, the partnership has bolstered nutrition education and healthy school meals in five states and has provided opportunities to strengthen farm-to-school connections, ensuring that local farmers can benefit from schools who source locally.
FoodCorps serves communities across the country offering 140,000 school-aged children, including those in rural areas, with hands-on food education, garden-based learning and access to healthier food in schools. Its AmeriCorps service members additionally partner with farmers and food service leaders to create healthy school meals and collaborate with communities to foster a school-wide culture of health. Nearly 73 percent of FoodCorps schools have measurably healthier school food environments by the end of the school year, and in schools with more of FoodCorps’ hands-on learning activities, children are eating up to three times as many fruits and vegetables.
CoBank will support FoodCorps programming in Arkansas, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut and Georgia as they cultivate children’s connections to local food and farms around the country.
“No matter who you are or where you are from, you deserve access to healthy, top-quality food at school. Building a strong relationship between local farms and our schools, and ensuring they are sourcing locally is a great way to strengthen the local economy and provide for our students and families,” said Curt Ellis, CEO and Co-Founder of FoodCorps. “We are proud of our partnership with CoBank and look forward to continuing this critical work as we invest in our farm-to-school programs.”
“As a mission-based lender we have a strong commitment to support communities and programs that address access to healthy food and nutrition while also creating new markets and sources of demand for local farmers,” said Brian Cavey, senior vice president of corporate communications and government affairs at CoBank. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with FoodCorps and support their mission to connect kids to healthy food in school.”
Together with communities, FoodCorps connects kids to healthy food in school so that every child—regardless of race, place, or class—gets the nourishment they need to thrive. Our AmeriCorps leaders transform schools into places where all students learn what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and eat it every day. Building on this foundation of direct impact, FoodCorps develops leaders, forges networks, and pursues policy reforms that in time have the potential to improve all of our nation’s 100,000 schools. To learn more about FoodCorps’ work across the country, visit http://www.foodcorps.org.
CoBank is a $160 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and maintains an international representative office in Singapore.