An Americorps for healthy school lunches

You may be old enough to remember when pizza day was kind of a big deal in the school cafeteria. Now, it seems to be the norm. While kids definitely need more active time outside, many worry that school lunches may be the main culprit in the current childhood obesity epidemic.

It turns out Michelle Obama isn’t the only one trying to tackle this issue. A group of activists, including KING CORN filmmaker Curt Ellis (all pictured below), is currently working to create Food Corps, a public service opportunity that will elist volunteers to “…build Farm to School supply chains, expand food system and nutrition education programs, and build and tend school food gardens.”

A project of the National Farm to School Network (which is a joint program of the Center for Food & Justice at Occidental College and the Community Food Security Coalition), Food Corps is still in the planning stages, but already receiving ample support. Last month, the group received both a Kellogg Foundation grant and an Americorps National Planning Grant. Next steps involve a planning meeting in Detroit later this month, and submission of proposal to Americorps for implementation of Food Corps early next year.

Sounds like a great opportunity for potential volunteers (young or not), as well as a smart strategy for getting a handle on health issues with kids. Know of other efforts like this to get volunteers involved in school nutrition and, by extension, agriculture and gardening? Share them…


Image credits: Food Corps