Model & Strategy
FoodCorps is a national service organization that provides a scalable response to America’s painful and costly epidemic of childhood obesity. Working under the direction of high-impact local partners, FoodCorps Service Members invest a year of full-time public service delivering nutrition education, cultivating school gardens and sourcing farm-fresh school meals for K-12 students in communities of need across the country.
FoodCorps offers a means for training a new generation of leaders in the fields of food, education and health, and a mechanism for building connections and capacity among the diverse organizations that advocate for a more just, healthful and sustainable food system. 1 in 5 FoodCorps alumni are hired by their school or service site for a long-term position.
Curt Ellis began working with the five other founders of FoodCorps in 2009. With colleagues Debra Eschmeyer, Cecily Upton, Crissie McMullan, Jerusha Klemperer and Ian Cheney, Curt led an 18-month planning process that engaged more than 10,000 stakeholders in developing the FoodCorps model. Rather than being designed from the top down, their school food solution emerged from the grassroots up: a national organization that local voices shaped according to their needs.
Curt’s passion for food and agriculture is rooted in his childhood in Oregon. He developed his interest at The Mountain School and Yale and then moved to Iowa to investigate the role of subsidized commodities in the American obesity epidemic. The film he co-created there, King Corn, won a George Foster Peabody Award, helped bring national press attention to the Farm Bill, and reached an audience of millions in theatres and on PBS. Curt also produced The Greening of Southie (Sundance Channel, 2008) and used his Food and Community Fellowship to launch the mobile school garden project, Truck Farm, and direct the sequel to King Corn, Big River (Discovery, 2010).
In the last school year, FoodCorps’ 228 corps members reached 167,893 children, led 42,990 hands-on lessons and 3,260 taste tests, tended 529 school gardens, and activated thousands of community volunteers in support of healthy school food environments.
External evaluation by Columbia University showed that students who get more of FoodCorps’ hands-on learning eat triple the fruits and vegetables compared with peers in low-implementation schools.
Three in four FoodCorps’ alumni are pursuing careers of impact that advance FoodCorps’ goal of nurturing a nation of healthy children—such as education, school foodservice, and policy and advocacy; upward of one in three alumni are hired each year by a FoodCorps school or partner after service, often in jobs created for them.
FoodCorps Featured in Fast Company for Their Success in Winning Over KidsFoodCorps was featured in Fast Company for their work winning over a pretty tough crowd, kids. FoodCorps sends young service members into schools in disadvantaged…Mar 2016
FoodCorps' Debra Eschmeyer Selected to Lead First Lady Michelle Obama's Food WorkDebra “Deb” Eschmeyer, a leading nutrition and local food advocate, has replaced Sam Kass as executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy advisor for…Jan 2015
The Kids Eat Local Act of 2021 would make it easier for schools to source local food for school meals. Text HEALTHY… https://t.co/drqPXUo0Ub
School kitchens MUST have optimally functioning equipment to be able to prepare the foods that kids need to thrive.… https://t.co/8G7jELvltu
RT @tomcolicchio: Since COVID began, school nutrition staff, farmers & communities have been rallying to ensure the 30 million kids who eat…
RT @weelicious: Right now, Congress has a once-in-a-decade chance to pass 4 bills that work together to get kids learning about, eating, an…
Since COVID began, school nutrition staff 👩🏫, farmers 👨🌾 & communities 👨👩👧👦 have been rallying to ensure the 3… https://t.co/d08VJkstZY
RT @rachaelray: Since COVID began, school nutrition staff, farmers & communities have been rallying to ensure the 30 million kids who eat s…
RT @SlowFoodNYC: “We definitely see school food as a way to address racial injustices and inequalities that we have in this country.” —Mami…