Our mission: Together with communities, FoodCorps serves to connect kids to healthy food in school.
Our vision: We are creating a future in which all our nation’s children––regardless of race, place, or class––know what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and eat it every day.
Healthy food is a building block for a full life. But right now, not all kids have access to healthy food or education about how to make healthy choices. Structural inequities based on race, place, and class have resulted in health disparities that have taken an unjust toll on children of color and children growing up in households struggling to make ends meet.
- In the United States, one in three kids are on track to develop diet-related illness in their lifetime. For kids of color, it’s one in two.
- Children who lack a quality diet are more likely to face a lifetime of challenges: they score lower on tests, miss more days of school, advance less in their careers, and raise children who are likely to repeat the same cycle.
We see schools as places where we can correct these injustices, providing healthy food access and education for all kids. FoodCorps helps schools become places where kids get the nourishment they need to thrive.
- We believe big things are possible. We are committed to building a solution that matches the vast scale of the problem, and to approaching and evaluating our work with a rigor that makes our ambitious vision a reality.
- We believe everyone should be welcome at the table. Ensuring that all our nation’s children have the chance to eat healthy food requires us to embrace working across individual, cultural and political differences.
- We believe leaders fuel change. We invest in people who model practical and humble leadership, give them exceptional training and experiences, and connect them to each other, cultivating social capital at every level.
- We believe healthy food has healthy roots. So the food we serve is truly nourishing, we strive for it to be good for the people who grow, harvest, prepare and eat it, and for the lands and waters where it is produced.
- We believe in trying new things. We celebrate curiosity and innovation, and seek to improve, adapt and evolve our approach in order to hone our program, strengthen our impact, and build a better FoodCorps.
- We believe it takes a more just organization to create a more just world. To achieve our mission, we must foster diversity and set patterns of equity in both our end goal and the road we take to get there.
FoodCorps sprang from the grassroots up: a national initiative that thousands of local voices shaped according to their needs.
The first conversation occurred on Earth Day 2009, the day President Obama signed the Kennedy Serve America Act into law. This legislation signaled a new opportunity to engage AmeriCorps in building a more healthful, equitable food system.
Six people led a process shaping what eventually became FoodCorps, but it was a crowd-sourced and community-supported initiative from the start. Our development was informed by a large group planning summit and monthly open conference calls, with thousands of participants.
Founding team (pictured, from left): Jerusha Klemperer, Curt Ellis (FoodCorps’ CEO), Crissie McMullan, Ian Cheney, Debra Eschmeyer (former FoodCorps VP and Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Nutrition Policy Advisor to President Obama), and Cecily Upton (FoodCorps’ Chief Strategist & SVP of Strategy & Partnerships).
Our Founding Partners
National Farm to School Network
Slow Food USA
The National Center for Appropriate Technology
with key additional support from Occidental College, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Community Fellows Program and the W.K.Kellogg Foundation.