Food Literacy Center

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$36,138 raised by 141 donors

100% complete

$30,000 Goal

Food Literacy Center was founded in 2011 to educate children on how food impacts their health. We teach children in Title 1 schools cooking, nutrition, gardening, and active play to improve our health, environment, and economy. 

For over a decade, Food Literacy Center has provided successful after school programs to Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) elementary schools. In Sacramento, 40% of children suffer from childhood obesity or are overweight. This directly increases their risk for Type 2 diabetes. Diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes put individuals at higher risk of severe illness. This prevalence is higher among African American and Hispanic children from lower-income families. Children from lower-income households are two times as likely to be obese than children from higher-income households and are more likely to experience a lower quality of life as adults, including poorer health, educational attainment, and employment outcomes.

The majority of the children we serve are food and nutrition insecure, a form of toxic stress. Food insecurity is also associated with adverse behavioral and academic outcomes among children. Now more than ever before, our students need social connections to survive and thrive. We combine positive, stable relationship-building with skill-building by delivering hands-on, health-focused programs. We help build resilience, helping students learn to cope with hard times and develop healthy eating habits by role modeling healthy behaviors and consistently showing up for our students year after year, even through the pandemic during school closures.

Food Literacy Center serves elementary schools located in the Sacramento Promise Zone, a federally designated high-need neighborhood. USDA identifies these neighborhoods as food deserts, 82-100% participate in free/reduced lunch programs, and eat 3 subsidized meals per day in school. Food and nutrition insecurity remain at a record high in the communities we serve. Our approach to education has not changed; it is now more critical! We combine immediate food assistance with resilience skill-building. We engage the students we serve, allowing their needs to determine our strategies. 


Food Literacy Center's mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. We teach children in low-income elementary schools cooking, nutrition, gardening, and active play to improve our health, environment, and economy.


Financial support: It costs $120 per child to deliver our food literacy curriculum. We have an ongoing waiting list of interested schools waiting for our help.

Volunteers: As a small nonprofit, community members help with a wide variety of professional needs in our largely volunteer-driven nonprofit. Under health and safety guidelines, they are needed in our recipe kit distribution program at our school sites with packing and passing out recipe kits. Volunteers also assist with events, community outreach, and many other functions.

Equity Statement

Food Literacy Center’s board outlined their values in a 2022 strategic planning session, making “inclusivity” one of the nonprofit’s top priorities. It is defined as:

We listen more than we talk.

We engage and work with diverse communities with an intention to learn and improve.

We actively work on being inclusive because it adds value.

We create safety where all voices are heard, and perspectives are valued.

We develop leaders at all levels.

We make decisions together.

Examples of equity in action include using recipes that are culturally relevant, creating a culture of equity by including our communities in the planning of new programs and seeking feedback from students and parents. Our staff and volunteers speak Hmong and Spanish and some have attended the schools we serve. We have translated our recipes into Spanish, Hmong, and Farsi. We have partnered with an Afghan chef to teach our staff about Afghan culture and cuisines in response to the influx of Afghan refugees in the schools we serve. We plan to integrate more cultural training for our staff to reflect the needs of our students' culture.

Organization Data


Organization name

Food Literacy Center

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Operating Budget

$1,000,001-$5 million

Organization Need

Funding: Unrestricted, Funding: Program, Volunteers, Board Members

Demographics Served

Youth & Children, Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx, Black/African American

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


PO Box 188706
Sacramento, CA 95818


401 A McClatchy Way
Sacramento, CA 95818

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US



Social Media