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.

 

At a Glance
Founded: 2010
Co-Founder & CEO: Curt Ellis
Food & Agriculture
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast, West Coast, Midwest, Southwest, Southeast
FoodCorps
New York, NY
Connecting kids to real food. Helping them grow up healthy.
Meet Curt Ellis

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).

IMPACT

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.

  • Early voting is underway! Do you have everything you need to cast your vote? Visit our civic center at… https://t.co/FapglNrDCX
  • #FollowFriday: Elevate your racial justice education! Founded by FoodCorps Board Member Rachel Willis,… https://t.co/5b0XwiP07s
  • Don't forget to check out our Voter Guide to learn how school food can show up at the ballot box: https://t.co/dkVArrDM3d #Debates2020
  • That's a wrap! To stay up-to-date on policy and learn when you can raise your voice on the issues, take the… https://t.co/MH1cGjZ5lu
  • Your elected officials make decisions that affect students’ well-being—in and out of the cafeteria. That means you… https://t.co/CnFD1dQmSj
  • Question for the candidates: What steps will you take to end the racial inequities in our public health, food, and… https://t.co/sx7E3ClZrz
  • Black lives matter. #Debates2020
  • We believe all kids should get the nourishment they need to thrive in school and in life. However, we know it’s imp… https://t.co/ojjFwv5y2z
  • Question for the candidates: How will you center communities of color and low-income communities when shaping public policy? #Debates2020
  • Structural inequities and systemic oppression based on race, place, and class have led to health disparities that t… https://t.co/RQMUfCMJBX
  • Violence and discrimination aimed at Black and brown youth are traumatizing, severely damaging their health and wel… https://t.co/SS3NEUkCUm
  • Question for the candidates: Do you support policy changes to make school meals free for all kids? #Debates2020
  • Feeding America projects that a significant rise in unemployment over the year would result in a total of 18 millio… https://t.co/ffvcawaA1g
  • Question for the candidates: How will you support our country’s recovery from #COVID19 while centering the needs of… https://t.co/diONCkTV8g
  • We're facing unprecedented food insecurity in modern time. 14 million kids don't have enough to eat. 3 in 10 Black… https://t.co/riZnyEXCPD
  • A steep decline in revenue due to #COVID19 school closures and unforeseen costs for operating emergency feeding ser… https://t.co/taBfyqvvJS
  • To many, we are in a moment unmatched since the Great Depression—& the public health, economic, & community ramific… https://t.co/734wtQseKf
  • Question for the candidates: What steps will you take to support school nutrition professionals during and beyond #COVID19? #Debates2020
  • The #COVID19 pandemic has illuminated what we’ve long known to be true: #SchoolFoodisEssential. School nutrition pr… https://t.co/9Dpj2EswDN
  • We're watching the last of the #Debates2020 tonight! We hope the candidates will uplift the issues we address in ou… https://t.co/bi3t0Jf1uT