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Inspire Kids to Eat Their Vegetables
Support Programs for Our Kids

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Our Mission
Our 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. 

Why Food Literacy is Needed
In Sacramento, 40% of children suffer from childhood obesity or are overweight. This directly increases their risk for Type 2 diabetes. These diet-related diseases are preventable if we eat our vegetables. Yet only 4% of kids are eating the recommended amount of fruits and veggies.

We work in low-income schools where students are at highest risk for diet-related diseases. Most of them are food and nutrition insecure.

How We Help Kids
We serve Title 1 schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District, focusing on South Sacramento. We inspire kids to eat their vegetables through hands-on cooking and nutrition classes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we also offer free online learning resources, and distribute take-home veggie recipe kits to food and nutrition insecure students and their families We are bringing joy and a trauma-informed food literacy teaching approach to promote resilience, giving our kids a healthier future! 

Food Literacy Education

We provide weekly 45-minute food literacy classes delivered over 14 weeks in nine low-income elementary schools. 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)
  • 96% know how to read an easy recipe (knowledge)
  • 85% of students fearlessly tasted a new fruit or vegetable each week through our Produce of the Day tasting (behavior)

We are changing kids’ attitude, knowledge and behavior toward healthy eating.

Food Literacy Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to Food Literacy Center are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Federal tax ID #45-3973268.

Food Literacy Academy

Our most innovative, scalable program is the Food Literacy Academy. We created the academy, which trains community members as food literacy instructors (we call them Food Geniuses) and allows us to expand our curriculum across the region and eventually the state. When we started this program, we were reaching 120 kids per week. After training our first 20 instructors, we reached 2,400 in one summer! Community members are asked to apply to the program. Applications are screened and students are selected for the intensive 28-hour training on topics of nutrition, food systems, food safety and specifically how to implement Food Literacy Center’s curriculum, which is based on positive reinforcement and having fun to inspire change. Upon completion of the course, students are tested to become certified Food Geniuses. In order to maintain their certification, trainees are asked to provide volunteer service by teaching food literacy classes. We now have 84 Food Geniuses helping in nine schools and programs in 28 libraries across Sacramento, Yolo and Placer Counties.

Food Literacy Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to Food Literacy Center are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Federal tax ID #45-3973268.

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