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Yolo County Declares September Food Literacy Month

Food Literacy Month has officially come to Yolo County after a successful September in Sacramento last year. California Food Literacy Center worked with Yolo County supervisors Jim Provenza and Don Saylor, along with the rest of the Board of Supervisors, to name September Food Literacy Month during this week’s board meeting in Woodland. The month will include a Food Literacy Fair at the Woodland Farmers Market on Sept. 14.

“I’m thrilled to help bring Food Literacy Month to Yolo County,” Provenza said. “It’s hard to believe that 25 percent of us don’t consume the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, yet Yolo County is a leading agricultural producer. With increased awareness we can increase local produce consumption and combat childhood obesity. It’s a win win.”

The Food Literacy Fair will take place at the Woodland Farmers Market on Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. The event will feature cooking demos, live music, baby farm animals and more. A press conference recognizing the Food Literacy Month resolution will take place at 10:30 a.m. Additional Yolo County activities will be announced.

“One of the single most important ways in which we can promote health and well-being for all residents is to increase food literacy,” Saylor said.  “This is a high priority in Yolo County and there is a cascading calendar of events in September planned to give everyone fun, informative, interactive ways to participate and to gain greater understanding of our food system, food access and food literacy. I urge everyone to get involved.”

Last year, Assemblymember Roger Dickinson authored ACR-161, a resolution sponsored by the California Food Literacy Center, to declare September Food Literacy Month in California and to raise awareness about food literacy on the state level. This year’s Food Literacy Month will include a kids’ recipe contest, Food Literacy Fairs in Woodland and Sacramento, Veggie of the Year contest, restaurant donation campaign across the region, an online fundraiser for California Food Literacy Center and several events in partnership with Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Week. For more information, visit www.foodliteracycenter.org.

“The solution to childhood obesity is growing in our backyard: fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Amber Stott, founding executive director, California Food Literacy Center. “Food Literacy Month provides a fun, hands-on opportunity for kids and families to increase their knowledge about healthy, fresh and tasty food.”

California Food Literacy Center was established in July 2011 to educate and inspire low-income children to eat healthy food. Students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read nutrition labels, basic cooking skills and environmental impacts of their food choices. The nonprofit also runs the Food Literacy Academy, which trains community members as food literacy teachers. To date, the nonprofit has 60 active volunteers and serves 2,400 kids annually. After just three months of food literacy education, 70 percent of students request the foods they have tasted in class, including broccoli, celery and oranges. Ninety-two percent of K-1st grade students say healthy food tastes good, and 88 percent of children understand how to read a nutrition label. To make a donation to California Food Literacy Center, visit www.foodliteracycenter.org.

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