Wendell Berry, in his piece titled Solving for Pattern, describes three types of solutions to the problems of our time: those that create more problems (think feedlots and water quality), those that worsen the problem they were intended to solve (think big tractors and soil compaction), and those that will solve more than one problem without making any new ones—think FoodCorps. FoodCorps is tackling the childhood obesity epidemic head on.  And they are inspiring future leaders, educating children, supporting farmers, and empowering communities along the way.

FoodCorps Kirsten Gerbatsch

FoodCorps member, Kirsten Gerbatsch serves smiles and squash fries.

There are organizations across the country, operating on tight budgets, working hard to create more just food systems for vulnerable children. And at the same time there is a generation of young people aware of the broken food system, and hungry to fix it.  Now, FoodCorps is on the scene giving passionate and motivated young people the opportunity to teach children about nutrition, build gardens, and grow the farm-to-school movement while they work with community organizations from Massachusetts to New Mexico. This nationwide team of leaders can then take what they learn and build on it—becoming effective change makers in the fields of nutrition, public health, food systems, and agriculture.

Currently, only 2% of children eat enough fruits and vegetables. And approximately one in five children between the ages of 6 and 11 are obese, making them more likely to have pre-diabetes, joint problems, and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. FoodCorps is out to change this devastating trend. Service members teach children about healthy food and where it comes from. They build and tend school gardens, offering children a hands-on connection to their food. And they work with food service providers and farmers to bring quality local food into public school cafeterias. In turn, these children will learn better, live longer, and pass on their healthy eating habits to future generations.

FoodCorps is about “solving for pattern.” They build healthy food system leaders, inspire healthy eaters, and support the farmers, schools, and organizations that play a vital role in a healthy and sustainable food system. In the past year, they have reached more than 67,500 children, conducted 411 garden projects, harvested roughly 29,500 lbs. of produce for kids, and have had over 3,000 community volunteers. FoodCorps connects kids to their food, young people to community organizations, and farmers to cafeterias,  creating a web of solutions that weaves outward creating more solutions.

To learn more about FoodCorps check out this great video.

Organic Valley believes all children deserve a healthy future, so we happily support Food Corps in their efforts to give all youth an enduring relationship with healthy food.