Food Literacy Center

Food Literacy Center was founded in 2011 to educate children on how food impacts their health. Our objectives are to improve children's knowledge, attitude, and behavior toward healthy eating to prevent childhood obesity and other diet-related health problems.

Only 4% of kids eat the recommended servings of vegetables daily. 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 from COVID-19 infection. 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.

In March 2020, three days after Sacramento schools closed due to COVID-19, we adapted our hands-on cooking and nutrition classes for free online distance learning with downloadable lesson plans and recipes. Because 30% of Sacramento students don't have internet access and/or limited access to healthy foods, we have been partnered with the school district to distribute STEM Veggie Recipe Kits filled with fresh produce to make a healthy meal for four, plus our printed recipes, so our kids can continue learning and practicing healthy behaviors. Our innovative curriculum focuses on age-appropriate lessons, emphasizing the joy of eating healthy food. California's Surgeon General's COVID playbook recommends maintaining health and nutrition during this crisis to prevent stress. Studies show that students who practice what they're learning in a hands-on environment can often retain three and a half times as much as opposed to just sitting in a lecture and listening.

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. Since schools closed, rates of food and nutrition insecurity have significantly increased in the Black and Brown communities we serve. Our approach to education has not changed with COVID-19; 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.

Mission

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.

Needs

Financial support: It costs $35 to fund a take-home STEM Recipe Kit. We have an ongoing waiting list of interested schools waiting for our help.

Program support: It costs $35 to fund a take-home STEM Recipe Kit. We have an ongoing waiting list of interested schools waiting for our help.

Volunteers: Community members help with a wide variety of professional needs in our largely volunteer-driven nonprofit.

Board members: We're looking for committed brand ambassadors willing to roll up their sleeves and help. We're seeking board members strong in the areas of public health, finance, and more.

Located at the south end of Floyd Farms, directly behind the cooking school, will be a 2-acre multi-use, outdoor classroom and garden operated by Food Literacy Center. The garden was designed with one goal in mind: encouraging children to eat their vegetables. Funds will support the expansion of the garden, gardening program, and community education.

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Food Literacy Center

Tax id (EIN)

45-3973268

Mission Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Operating Budget

$500,001-$1 million

Organization Need

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

Address

PO Box 188706
Sacramento, CA 95818

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