New Mexico Service Member Tae-Young Nam is increasing smiles through veggies

By Tae-Young Nam, FoodCorps service member in New Mexico

I can explain why I serve with FoodCorps like this: it’s a combination of fun, yummy food, mounds of dirt and self-interest.

My name is Tae-young Nam and I am currently serving as a FoodCorps service member with La Semilla Food Center in partnership with two elementary schools within Las Cruces, New Mexico and the El Paso del Norte Region. Growing up in a middle-class Madison, WI neighborhood, I was lucky to have parents who brought home a plethora of fruits and colorful vegetables. However in the classroom, I clearly recall learning about how the body worked, but I hardly remember any lessons on how to fill our bodies with healthy food.

FoodCorps works to change that by deploying leaders across the nation to introduce healthier options to school cafeterias, create and execute garden and nutrition based lessons, and have a blast harvesting carrots and then cooking them with kids, possibly after making them perform rounds of jumping jacks, push-ups and yoga. I work with 2nd-5th grade classrooms to incorporate gardening, cooking and nutrition into their lesson plans during the mornings, and run after-school Gardening and Cooking Clubs in two different elementary schools. Furthermore, I try to tailor the recipes to what our school gardens are growing so that we can harvest and cook it in one lesson.

Finish reading over at Slow Food USA’s blog.