Category Archives: Uncategorized

Taste Tests as an Agent for Change

Written by: Jen Swanstrom, FoodCorps Service Member with Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) North Coast

In a nation where nine out of ten kids do not eat enough vegetables every day, I am thrilleDecHOTM_turnip taste testd to be serving in a position that allows me to help build enthusiasm around healthy foods instead of chips, soda, or sugary treats. It may not seem like the easiest of tasks, but through fun lessons and repeated exposure, I have seen very real excitement around trying new vegetables!

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North Coast Farm to School Supporters Visit Little Lake Grange

Written by: Ally Lemmer, FoodCorps CA Fellow with Life Lab & Community Alliance with Family Farmers 

23520139090_e667b22cee_zFormally Willits High School and historically a meeting place for farmers, the Little Lake Grange in Willits served as a perfect venue for all farm to school advocates in the North Coast region on Friday, December 11th, 2015. Food service directors, farmers, and educators all convened for the first ever North Coast Regional Gathering on behalf of the CA Farm to School Network, which was just launched a year prior.   Continue reading

If You Fail to Plan Are You Planning to Fail?

Written by: Kira McNealy, FoodCorps Service Member with San Diego Unified School District

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FoodCorps Service Members, Corrie King and Kira McNealy, with USDA Undersecretary of Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Sciences, Kevin Concannon.

I’ve never been much of a planner. In fact, even meal prep gives me some sort of anxiety because knowing what’s on the menu every day for a week just doesn’t serve me well. Though I was quick to line up internships in college and excel scholastically, I didn’t put much thought into what came next. Getting my degree was really the pinnacle of my life. One thing I did plan for, however, was to find meaningful, fulfilling work and when I stumbled across FoodCorps in a Google search I really stopped looking.  Continue reading

Bringing Together Stakeholders to Tackle Farm to School in San Diego

Written by: Colin Cureton, San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative and CFSN San Diego Regional Lead

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.57.07 AMOn a hot Friday morning in early September, over 30 people convened in Carlsbad, CA for the latest CFSN SoCal regional meeting. Members of the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce and Orange County Farm to School Taskforce in attendance included SoCal school districts, local farmers, produce distributors, local government, universities, nonprofits, and more. The meeting was facilitated by Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP), which houses the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce.  Continue reading

Bicycle Blended Smoothies + Local Greens = Happy Youth

Written by: Sarah Stowell, FoodCorps Service Member with North Coast Opportunities 
147b9d720928ad26f507879378971b00Using a blender bicycle to make 150-300 smoothies a day with elementary students has become a regular occurrence during my service term. It has been a sure fire way to introduce kale, spinach, or other “super greens” to the pickiest of eaters. I’ve gotten used to students as young as kindergarten or as old as 8th grade coming up to me after trying their smoothie, which consists of at least 50% super greens, and telling me that they didn’t think they liked kale or spinach or turnip greens and that now they are going to make super green smoothies at home with their families.  Continue reading

Produce, Not Plastic

Shannon_McDowell After receiving a B.S. in Dietetics from her home state university, University of Vermont, FoodCorps Service Member Shannon McDowell moved west to serve a year with the  Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) — formerly, Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP) — in Chico, CA. Dedicated to providing youth and community members with nutrition education, Shannon is supporting her service site through its Harvest of the Month program by sourcing and preparing an upwards of 5,000 tastings per month. Read on to learn about how Shannon has helped support and spearhead Harvest of the Month in the North Valley region. 

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