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Food Literacy Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Nutrition

Mission: Our mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. We teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, environment, and economy. Food literacy [fu: d lit-er-uh-see]noun: understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our economy.

Results: Through our food literacy curriculum students learn the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, where to access the healthy foods used in class (such as the food bank), and how to read—and cook—recipes and nutrition labels. Students learn financial literacy and budgeting throughout our curriculum, and especially with our bean burrito lesson. In this lesson students cook a homemade bean burrito and compare it to a fast food burrito in taste, cost and by ingredients (fat, sugar and fiber). After our program, 69% of students know that a homemade bean burrito is healthier than fast food--and tastes better. We improve kids’ attitude toward healthy food through weekly “Produce of the Day” tastings. We provide students with a “Produce of the Day” where students taste blood oranges, bok choy, and even cactus—items we receive from partners Soil Born Farms and the Sacramento Food Bank. By providing fresh produce that students and their families already have access to, but may not be familiar with, we teach them how to include them in their meals. By exposing children to more fresh produce and inspiring them to eat fruits and vegetables, we are helping them develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime and prevent diet-related diseases. Students’ new habit of eating vegetables extends to their family. 70% of our kids go home and request the foods they've tasted in class--and parents tell us they are happy to buy them. We improve kids’ behavior toward healthy foods through hands-on weekly cooking lessons students can replicate at home with their families. Research indicates that cooking is the fastest method to improving kids’ consumption of fruits and vegetables. Students learn simple, cost-effective ways to integrate produce into their diets, like swapping jelly for fresh fruit slices in their peanut butter sandwiches. After receiving food literacy education, 96% of kids say healthy snacks taste good (attitude change), and 83% of kids agree that wasting food is wasting money (knowledge change). After making one of our signature recipes in class, fourth grader Estella beamed, “I went home and made the salad with my mom!” This is behavior change! We are changing kids’ attitude, knowledge and behavior toward healthy eating.

Target demographics: inspire kids to eat their vegetables.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 20,000 kids

Geographic areas served: low-income elementary schools

Programs: What we dowe teach. Basic cooking skills, nutrition, food and vegetable appreciation, and where food comes from. We feed. We introduce healthy snacks and introduce kids to fruits and vegetables so they'll make smart choices. Our approachwe believe good food should be fun! We focus on the positive side of food, sharing practical, affordable, and approachable ways to eat well. We aim to engage rather than frighten. Resultswe don't rely on anecdotes to know that our programs are working. We test and measure our programs. 92% of kids say healthy food tastes good. 75% say it matters where their food comes from. 70% ask their families for the foods they've tasted in class, including broccoli and oranges. How you can helpbe part of the solution. Contact us to make a donation and to volunteer. Amber stott, founding executive director: amber@foodliteracycenter. Org .

we train. Our food literacy academy provides an intensive 10-week training for community members to become food literacy teachers.

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