August 4, 2010

FoodCorps: Battling the Obesity Epidemic

There are so many amazing individuals and organizations who are trying to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Jamie Oliver for instance, otherwise known as the "Naked Chef," set out to change the way people eat, talk about, and interact with food in the town of Huntington, West Virginia. His successful attempt to transform the lunch program at a local public school in Huntington was chronicled in a show called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Other well-known individuals such as first lady, Michelle Obama spearheads the Let's Move Organization that not only aims to get school-aged children to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, but allows them to learn about and be inspired by gardening and cooking with fresh foods.

I feel compelled to share another organization that is trying to revolutionize the way children are eating on a national level. I recently learned about an organization called FoodCorps through one of Marion Nestle's blog posts (whom I regard as the godmother of all things related to nutrition, food politics and related topics). FoodCorps has an extremely grass-roots, hands-on goal to help minimize and eventually diminish the over-consumption of processed foods among children in public schools. Similar to what Jamie Oliver did in one small town, FoodCorps hopes to do across the nation.

This strategy of FoodCorps is to station gardens in public schools across the country in order to give children the opportunity to participate in and learn about gardening, nutritious food, and ultimately how to integrate healthier eating habits into their lives. In addition to the gardening program, FoodCorps will also initiate a direct farm to school supply chain for the lunch school program, and develop nutritional education programs within school curriculums. Sounds like a win, win to me.

I recently received an email from the organization about its first conference call which will be held this Thursday August 5, at 5 pm EST. The call will provide an introduction to the FoodCorps program, an update on FoodCorps Work Groups, information on becoming a FoodCorps host site, and time for questions. To participate, call (218) 936-4141 and enter code 571334#.

I'm so excited to see how this program unfolds. How many more tater tots and chicken fingers can elementary school kids stand for lunch?

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