US Flag AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

Home United We Serve National Service
Mobile Menu Button
National Service Blog - Archive
by
Samantha Jo Warfield

USDA data shows that only 2% of kids eat enough fruits and vegetables and 1 in 4 young adults are too overweight to qualify for military service. Statistics like these don't exactly paint a hopeful picture for the future. But a new national service organization, FoodCorps, has set out to change that.

Dedicated to addressing our country's childhood obesity epidemic through school gardens and farm-to-school programs, FoodCorps inaugural season will deploy AmeriCorps members to sites in 10 states: Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Earlier this week the first class of 50 FoodCorps members convened in Milwaukee, WI, for an intensive week-long training that included hands-on instruction on how to build gardens and educate children about nutrition among other things.

“These young leaders are dedicating a year of their lives to help give kids a relationship with healthy food that we hope will last a lifetime,” said Curt Ellis, co-founder and executive director of FoodCorps, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, “King Corn.”

FoodCorps members will not only be responsible for creating school gardens, but will provide nutrition and healthy food education to students. They will also work with local food service directors to source meal ingredients from local farmers, supporting local economies while encouraging environmentally friendly practices.

“FoodCorps is part of something that is large, interesting, dynamic, and important,” said AmeriCorps Director John Gomperts at the FoodCorps inaugural event on August 16.

America's children are in crisis. In the last 30 years, the number of obese children has tripled, with little sign of slowing down, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs AmeriCorps, is committed to supporting efforts to reverse this crisis. By funding programs like FoodCorps and hosting initiatives like Let's Read. Let's Move., the Corporation supports smart solutions to national problems.

“As a nation, we are tightening our fiscal belt, yet health-related obesity costs are projected to reach $344 billion by 2018. FoodCorps is a sound investment in a healthy future and gives our kids a chance to beat back the painful and costly epidemic of diet-related disease,” said co-founder and FoodCorps Program Director Debra Eschmeyer, herself a produce farmer and former outreach director of the National Farm to School Network.

You can join the fight against childhood obesity by searching for related opportunities in your area on serve.gov or using a toolkit to create your own community garden or walking team or to promote back to school health.

Keywords: AmeriCorps, FoodCorps, Healthy Food, Healthy Futures, Wisconsin
In Detroit, MI, parents expect crowded schools and budget cuts. So they're stepping up to make sure kids in the Detroit area get a solid education. Here's what one mother of four is doing.
Eighteen volunteers put in 4,320 hours a year and serve approximately 25,200 meals at St. John’s Samaritans Table in Stark County, Ohio. The volunteers manage all aspects of the weekly program and make sure that no one leaves the table hungry.
Approximately 1,500 global Cisco employees and contingent workers volunteer their time to train and respond to a variety of emergency situations through Cisco's Emergency Response Team (ERT).
I am a summer intern in the Office of the Mayor of New York City, and I am a proud member of the brand new NYC Service team. NYC Service is a new municipal initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to answer President Obama’s national call to service, and its primary goal is to increase volunteerism and civic engagement in the city
I know that volunteering makes our community a better place to live and extends a helping hand to those in need.
If you are reading these words with your eyes scanning across the screen, you might forget that there are many for whom that is not possible. Nancy wants to make sure all people, whether blind or sighted, have a chance at a great education.
As part of their Leadership Morgan Hill class project, the Class of 2009 is organizing a community Volunteer Fair in September that will connect organizations with community members looking for opportunities to volunteer. Their goal is to make their new organization, Volunteer Morgan Hill, and the Volunteer Faire a permanent part of the community.
Mary was weary of responding to the President's call to service, but during an afternoon working with special needs children at a local pool, she quickly discovered that volunteering offered much more.
Among the many difficulties facing the Appalachian communities of Southwest Virginia is the quality of education. With limited funding, many primary and high schools struggle to meet the Standards of Learning (SOL), set forth by the state of Virginia in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. In recent years, the rural elementary schools of Russell County have sought to incorporate an environmental education aspect in their curriculum. They’ve experienced difficulty in implementing the project due to lack of resources and few qualified instructors.
Right To Play sponsored an exchange program between athletes in Jordan and the United States. The program recognizes the universal appeal of sport as an ideal vehicle to inform, educate and empower entire communities.
Kids and teens with behavior problems often fall far behind in their academic development. Mary knew this because of her own son. She decided to get involved with a local literacy program to help youth involved in the juvenile justice system get a solid education.
Veterans First Executive Director, Deanne Tate, was moved to tears thanking volunteers for volunteering and spending the day helping veterans in need. It was an honor to participate on this rebuild project and help honor the service men and women who have given so much to our country.
On August 6th, nearly 40 volunteers - some as young as 7, donned gloves, grabbed shovels and rakes, and hauled trash to help beautify and revitalize Milwaukee's 30th Street Industrial Corridor. Many of the community's industrial sites are underutilized and volunteers hope that clean-up projects like this one will help attract new business and revitalize the community.
This community event provides our entire community with heightened crime and drug prevention awareness; generates support for and participation in local anticrime programs; strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Linda Loi has been volunteering in the Golden Gate National Park for the last five years. First in the Urban Trail Blazers Program and most recently with the program Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders, Loi has dedicated hours of her time each week to giving back, not just environmentally but also as a youth leader and role model to others in her programs.
Health Corps strives to help stem the crisis of child obesity through school-based health education and mentoring, as well as community events and outreach to underserved populations.
The local Czechoslovak Society of America group in North Riverside, IL, volunteered over 300 hours at the town library to complete a special project.
For her July birthday party, Cara M. told friends and family to forget the usual gifts and leis. Instead, she asked guests to bring cans of food for her church's food pantry, reminding them that even in idyllic Honolulu neighbors were struggling with hunger and homelessness.
Keeping the veterans community active is the best way to honor those who have served.
What started with a single vegetable garden on the grounds of USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. has grown into global movement. In their offices across the country and all over the world, USDA employees are volunteering their time to create community gardens, demonstrate sustainable agricultural techniques that everyday people can incorporate into their homes and lives, and showcase the importance of preserving the environment and conserving energy.
These citizens will be especially active during National Health Center Week, August 9th - 16th, 2009. Visit NACHC’s site www.healthcenterweek.com to find out about Health Center Week events near you.
Summer Advantage USA, a national non-profit that provides summer learning opportunities for youth in grades K - 8, led its young scholars through a process of identifying community challenges and implementing service projects. Here, these young people reflect on their work.
Busy working mom Kenya was driving home from her children's little league game when she wondered, "why don't we have this for service?" To teach her children and others in the community the importance of service and time with family, Kenya came up with the Family Service Team Program.
The YMCA Earth Service Corps joined forces with the Washington Trails Association to get dirty at Mount Saint Helens for a week of environmental restoration.
A Community Health Corps member shares their story of service.
We found a solution to help military girls fight low self-esteem, grow in leadership, and unite with those who understand their struggles. The Sisterhood of the Traveling BDUs will bring together 500 military girls from across California for the first ever weekend conference for military girls to empower one another in sisterly support.
This young man learns that putting his still-struggling second-language skills to work in his community parent education role is a win-win.
I am not done serving yet but I have slowed down since I turned 80.
United We Serve to Save Energy & the Earth!! I organized a home energy efficiency event in Battle Creek, Michigan. The overarching goal was to reach out to the Battle Creek community to help lower their energy costs and decrease carbon pollution emissions.
160 Odyssey House staff, clients and community volunteers tackle record breaking rainfall to build a new playground at the Family Re-Entry supportive housing facility in the South Bronx.

Pages

Stay in Touch

Follow us on the following social networks, to ensure that you are always up to date!

Facebook Icon
Twitter Icon
YouTube Icon

 

 

CNCS Logo

Tell us how we're doing: serviceinitiative@cns.gov

National Service websites:

 

Back to Top