Coordinator, Youth and Community-Based Food Systems
Co-Coordinator, NC FoodCorps
North Carolina State University
Department of Horticultural Science
226 Kilgore Hall, Box 7609
Raleigh, NC 27695
For additional information, please visit the FoodCorps website.
Other CBFS Efforts
Rebuilding Food System Infrastructure and Supply Chains for Local Foods
Community and Youth Engagement
- Wayne Food Initiative
- Students Working for an Agricultural Revolutionary Movement (SWARM) and Produce Ped'lers
- Discover Ag
- Food Youth Initiative
- 4-H Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum
New Farmer Training
- Bringing New Farmers to the Table
- Breeze Farm
Institutional Capacity-Building for Food Systems Work
One in four U.S. children struggles with hunger, while one in three is obese or overweight. Much of North Carolina faces statistics even more alarming than these national numbers. NC is ranked as the 10th most obese state in the US and the 2nd most food-insecure.
Schools are poised to be the front lines in our nation’s response to childhood obesity: 32 million children eat school food – the source of half their calories – 180 days of the year. What we feed our children, and what we teach them about food in school, shapes how they learn, how they grow and how long they will live.
FoodCorps is a national non-profit addressing the epidemic of nutrition-related diseases facing our children through
hands-on nutrition education,
hands-on school gardening, and
increased local food pathways to school cafeterias.
Through the partnership between 4-H and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, North Carolina is one of 10 states to help launch this Americorps-modeled program. Along with North Carolina, the host states in 2011-2012 include Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michagan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Oregon.
We envision a North Carolina where children know what healthy food is, how it grows, and where it comes from, and have access to it every single day. We envision children who are knowledgeable about the agricultural roots of our state. These children, immersed in a healthy food environment at a young age, will learn better, live longer, and liberate their generation from diet-related diseases.
We also envision a bright future for our service members: emerging leaders who will move on from FoodCorps to become farmers, chefs, educators and public health professionals. Armed with the skills to improve school food, these leaders will go on to improve the whole food system.
We envision a world in which affordable, fair, healthy food is expected and enjoyed by all.
The National Program
FoodCorps Service Members are highly motivated individuals who spend a year-long term of modestly paid public service in high need communities. FoodCorps also invests heavily in service members’ professional development.
Rather than creating a new national infrastructure and imposing a one-size-fits-all solution from the top down, FoodCorps identifies local organizations that are already doing effective work on the ground, then arms these partners with the human resources necessary to increase their impact.
Our NC Program
NC FoodCorps places motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service; in 2012/13 seven service members and one FoodCorps fellow will serve in six NC communities. Serving under the direction of local partners including Agricultural Extension offices as well as local non-profit organizations, all who work directly with schools in their district, we implement a three-ingredient recipe for healthy kids.
Our Service Members are:
- Educating through hands-on food and nutrition education using a variety of curricula and offering healthy food through snack programs, garden activities, and cooking classes/clubs;
- Engaging with curriculum-based school garden programs where children learn, understand, and directly experience the health and wellness benefits of sustainable growing practices, and where garden teams bring parents and volunteers into a partnership with schools for sustainable programs;
- Increasing Access by facilitating farm to cafeteria pathways through direct sourcing of local, sustainably grown produce into cafeterias; and supporting NCDA’s Farm-to-School distribution.
In North Carolina, we additionally wish to leverage FoodCorps as a tool to build Farm to School capacity—not only in our NC FoodCorps service sites—but across the whole of our state.
We also hope to encourage the state's emerging leaders to choose a year in FoodCorps service as a stepping stone into careers where they can immerse themselves in the food system, providing direct action here at home in NC as well as across the country in other FoodCorps states.
North Carolina Support
FoodCorps in NC is supported at large by the NC Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, as well as through additional grants and donations from WK Kellogg, the Master Gardeners Association, and many funders at the local site level.