ATLANTA— FoodCorps, a national farm to school organization that connects children in underserved communities to real food in order to help them grow up healthy, is accepting applications for an expansion to Georgia, where they’ll partner with Georgia Organics.
The selected applicants 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.
“We’re thrilled that we were selected to partner with FoodCorps,” said Georgia Organics Farm to School Director Erin Croom. “We’ll have more boots on the ground to grow farm to school in Georgia, and children all over the state will be healthier as a result.”
Nearly one million Georgia children are overweight or obese. The need for food education and access to clean, healthy food in Georgia is great, but so is the opportunity for change. While 43 percent of Georgia teenagers eat less than one vegetable a day, the state is the fourth-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the nation.
“What we feed our children in school––and what we teach them about food there––shapes their health and success over a lifetime,” said Curt Ellis, FoodCorps co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Georgia Organics has a longstanding track record with farm to school in Georgia—they established the state’s first farm to school program seven years ago, and serve as the lead agency for the National Farm to School network. The organization also established the Georgia Farm to School Alliance and hosted the state’s first-ever Farm to School Summit.
Georgia Organics’ other farm to school efforts include the 5 Million Meals Campaign and the state’s premiere farm to school award, the Golden Radish. Farm to school staff also routinely host trainings for teachers and school nutrition staff across the state.
In its first three years FoodCorps had some 1,000 applicants each year for its positions, with graduating service members going on to law school, public health programs, teaching positions, food service and more. Each year since its inception, FoodCorps has expanded its reach and grown its ranks.
FoodCorps has provided valuable skills and training to the service members who go through the program, setting them up for careers in food, health and education. Benefits of AmeriCorps service include a $17,500 stipend, health care, training, and a $5,645 education award.
FoodCorps applications are due March 30. Emerging leaders interested in getting more information should go to http://foodcorps.org/become-a-service-member.