Applications Open for Third Class of School Food Changemakers<
Jan 15, 2013 – Today, FoodCorps, a national organization that addresses childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities, opens applications for its third annual class of service members. The selected emerging leaders will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems – expanding hands-on nutrition education programs, building and tending school gardens, and bringing high quality local foods into school cafeterias.
In its first two years FoodCorps gained national attention by attracting more than 1,000 applicants each year for its 50-80 positions, and by providing an innovative, grassroots, scalable approach to solving our national obesity epidemic. 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, FoodCorps addresses the root cause of both: access to healthy food. Each year since its inception, FoodCorps has expanded its reach and grown its ranks.
The first two FoodCorps classes have brought important progress to the schools they serve—from making local beef and lentils staples in Montana cafeterias, to getting Mississippi students excited to harvest bushels of kale; from building or revitalizing hundreds of school and community gardens, to engaging thousands of volunteers and parents in their efforts. FoodCorps service member Jacob Marquez, serving in New Mexico, explained his passion for his position saying “My time in the classroom has given me new hope for the future of our food in this country.”
For its third class, FoodCorps seeks up to 130 men and women with a passion for serving their country as AmeriCorps service members. In addition to the 12 states where it currently operates—Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oregon—FoodCorps plans to expand to California, Hawai’i and New Jersey in 2013. “The placements FoodCorps offers are as diverse as the country we serve,” said Executive Director Curt Ellis, “From urban Detroit to rural Arkansas to our new sites in Hawai’i, you can find a place in FoodCorps that feels like home––or one that launches you on a new adventure.”
FoodCorps alumna Erika VanDyke reflected, “FoodCorps gave me a chance to serve in the kinds of schools and with the population of students I am most interested in, and allowed me to learn about the issues from the perspective of being a teacher as well as a representative of a local community organization.”
“Joining FoodCorps means joining a national network of leaders in the fields of food, education and health. If you want to take a powerful step forward in your career, FoodCorps is the place to start,” said Cecily Upton, FoodCorps Service Program Director.
Applications are due March 24th. Emerging leaders interested in getting more information should go to https://foodcorps.org/become-a-service-member.