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
1201 Broadway
Suite 411
New York, NY 10001
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’ 225 corps members reached 158,578 children, led 42,951 hands-on lessons and 3,386 taste tests (more than double the previous year), supported 471 school gardens, and activated 6,685 community volunteers in improving 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.

9 in 10 FoodCorps’ alumni are in careers of impact—such as education, school food services, and policy and advocacy—that advance FoodCorps’ goal of nurturing a nation of healthy children; 100% of FoodCorps alumni say service gave them confidence as leaders; one in five alumni are hired by their school or site after service, often in jobs created for them.

In an external evaluation by Spark Policy Institute, 98% of school leaders described FoodCorps as “highly valued.”

  • RT @mic: School-aged children spend six to seven hours a day in school, yet receive just five hours of nutritional education a year. Senato…
  • “The fact is that when you do something from your heart, you leave a heart print.” — Alice Walker ❤️🧡💛💚💜Sending lov… https://t.co/3Y8j5DYuS1
  • “The challenges of the past and the burden of forgetting weighs heavily on a nation’s subconscious.”… https://t.co/UCDupZzSJm
  • The US invests $18B a year in school food. How can we maximize the impact for kids? The Food Educator Bill would ex… https://t.co/pChAnwD1IS
  • Love is in the dirt 💕FoodCorps alums Natasha and Pete met during their service year in Montana, then moved to Iowa… https://t.co/3RvNlEgWVT
  • A well-deserved honor! Thank you, Representative @rosadelauro for championing @NationalService and the power of com… https://t.co/5LvRJaKOph
  • Hey, Montana! FoodCorps needs local leaders to get kids excited about healthy food at school. This is a chance to c… https://t.co/as0xC8Vp2s
  • RT @fractweets: The president's FY 2021 budget proposes: ❌ the widely ridiculed “America’s Harvest Box” ❌ more than $180 billion in SNAP b…
  • In our country, racism is harmful, persistent, and omnipresent. How do we begin to undo racism from within FoodCorp… https://t.co/d7AK3tyyRe
  • #FarmToSchool at its finest. 🌱"One of our students' favorite taste tests of the year is our sampling of Sweet Heat… https://t.co/vgwDlMDwCk
  • Join us! When you speak up for policies that help schools nourish kids, everyone wins: https://t.co/PP23FT96bL https://t.co/dx2fgPlayZ
  • 💯this: “Increasing financial and public support for subsidized lunches would secure a future for healthy school foo… https://t.co/AapNqPx4OY
  • Double tap if you agree. ✊#MondayMotivation
  • Gardening and mental health go hand in hand—as FoodCorps @AmeriCorps Service Member Emma Dubay shows us in our late… https://t.co/yBGuG04BAA
  • RT @EmCollective: "Food builds community, and community builds a sense of mental well-being." Five @FoodCorps service members share their…
  • Creativity, design, science, taste, and, most importantly, personal choice are driving Google’s 195,000 employees t… https://t.co/kCLgGApah8
  • Do you see yourself in service? Our new video series shows how five FoodCorps @AmeriCorps service members teach, le… https://t.co/Fj1pHIAIWs
  • "The state of our union is strong.” Almost every president says it, but what does a “strong” country actually mean… https://t.co/VGRh8MXZv1
  • Healthy food has healthy roots! @FarmlandNY finds more State funding for #FarmToSchool purchasing could result in m… https://t.co/c23woPGjPg
  • #FBF How we spent our #MLKdayofservice: painting murals, weeding invasive plants, cooking soup for food pantries, a… https://t.co/cuAEhI3QSd