Food Literacy Center


Food Literacy Center's 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.

DONATE NOW
Address:PO Box 188706
Sacramento, CA 95818
County or Parish:Sacramento
Primary NTEE:Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 
Sub NTEE:Nutrition 
Executive Director:Amber Stott
Contact Email:info@foodliteracycenter.org
Primary Phone:916-476-4766
Website:http://foodliteracycenter.org/
Only 4% of kids eat the recommended servings of vegetables a day and 40% of kids in Sacramento are obese. Low intake of vegetables in childhood is linked to health problems throughout the life span, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Our objectives are to improve low-income children's knowledge, attitude, and behavior toward healthy eating to prevent childhood obesity and other diet-related health problems. We teach weekly 45-minute food literacy classes delivered over 14 weeks in afterschool programs where we rotate children through our cooking and nutrition program. In our classrooms, students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read a recipe, cooking skills - and they have fun. We are unique in that we use positive reinforcement, getting kids excited about fruits and vegetables through culturally appropriate recipes, and hands-on activities.

After receiving food literacy education, 96% of kids say healthy snacks taste good (attitude change), 82% know food grows on farms (knowledge change), and 96% know how to read an easy recipe (knowledge). 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.
- Financial support: It costs $120 per child per month to deliver our food literacy curriculum. We have an ongoing waiting list of interested schools waiting for our help.
- Volunteers: We train community members as food literacy instructors through our Food Literacy Academy. These Food Geniuses enable us to scale our reach. We also invite community members to help with a wide variety of professional needs in our largely volunteer-driven nonprofit.
- Committee members: We have several key fundraisers during the year that require the time and talent of community volunteers. We also have committees to help shape the direction of our marketing and programs.

Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Unrestricted - Financial support: It costs $120 per child per month to deliver our food literacy curriculum. We have an ongoing waiting list of interested schools waiting for our help.
  2. Volunteers - Volunteers: We train community members as food literacy instructors through our Food Literacy Academy. These Food Geniuses enable us to scale our reach. We also invite community members to help with a wide variety of professional needs in our largely volunteer-driven nonprofit.
  3. Volunteers - Committee members: We have several key fundraisers during the year that require the time and talent of community volunteers. We also have committees to help shape the direction of our marketing and programs.
Food Literacy Center came to life in July 2011. With a lifelong career in nonprofit management and a personal passion for improving our food system, founder Amber Stott saw a critical gap: helping low-income individuals improve their knowledge, attitude, and behavior towards real food.

Two generations of Americans do not know how to cook and rely on packaged foods. Studies show that combined nutrition/cooking programs reduce obesity rates. By teaching kids to eat fruits and vegetables and reduce sugar and fat consumption, we are preventing childhood obesity. Obesity is a leading public health concern disproportionately affecting low-income and minority children. Food Literacy Center works with ten elementary schools located in either the Promise Zones or South Sacramento BHC zones (federally designated high-need neighborhoods). In these Title 1 schools, 75-100% of kids are on free or reduced lunch programs. 92% of our students are African American, Hispanic, and Asian American. Children who experience persistent poverty are more likely to experience a lower quality of life as adults, including poorer health, educational attainment, and employment outcomes. When children are eating healthy meals, they learn better and make healthier choices.

We have grown by two schools annually, and have a waiting list of schools interested in food literacy. In 2016, Food Literacy Center was unanimously approved by the SCUSD board of directors to serve as operator of the Leataata Floyd Farms Project, a 2.5-acre learning kitchen and garden located on the school campus. This new facility will be built and funded through an innovative partnership between the City of Sacramento, the school district and a local real estate developer. This project will serve kids and families with an average annual income of $8,000.