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Schools: Modeling, Teaching and Engaging students in positive nutrition habits

Schools are uniquely able to model positive behavior for youth. FoodCorps uses fellows to support schools in their efforts to do that by providing healthy food, teaching their students about nutrition and engaging their students in growing food.

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I recently did some research on the food industry in the US and have come to believe that two areas are ripe for near term innovation: increased physical activity and healthier food consumption by our youth.

Schools are a particularly strong place for these interventions because they represent models of positive behavior for our kids today. That is, what kids learn at school is what they regard in the future as an example of what is admirable.

One organization that is addressing youth eating behavior at schools is FoodCorps, which engages Fellows in year long projects to "bring healthy food infrastructure to the schools facing the most severe challenges of diet-related disease" (FoodCorps website). FoodCorps accomplishes three things at its placement schools across the country:

1. Establish farm to school supply chains

2. Expand nutrition education curricula

3. Create on-school food gardens.

One of the greatest aspects of FoodCorps is that it builds on the success of many Farm to School initiatives that have been implemented across the US in the past. Coming out of this work, FoodCorps recognizes that if they faithfully implement the three goals identified above at their school sites, they are likely to be able to change student eating behaviors and mindsets about nutrition for life.

A secondary benefit of FoodCorps' work is the development of a strong cohort of dedicated Fellows who deeply understand the food space. It will be inspiring to see where they put their focus on the long term changes the food industry needs.


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