FoodCorps service members are helping New York schools show their state’s bounty-and improve access to fresh, healthy foods-thanks to a new initiative bringing locally sourced apples, yogurt, beans, and more to student lunches every week. Introduced last fall, New York Thursdays is boosting local food offerings once a week in all New York City public schools, with the goal of sourcing 50% of its Thursday lunch menu from within the state. Its mission is unified with that of California Thursdays, created jointly by the Center for Ecoliteracy and Oakland Unified School District.
These local food programs have a common resource: FoodCorps service members. Since its start two years ago, California Thursdays has quickly expanded, supported by FoodCorps members like Ashley Marquez, who championed the program’s rollout in San Diego last year. With the spotlight now on New York, our corps members are teaching students about the joys and benefits of local foods. Amina Bahloul, serving with Edible Schoolyard NYC in the Bronx, draws kids to the salad bar at lunch to try New York apples, talking about the fruit’s health benefits while slicing them up to serve. And kids are eating it up.