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Cooking School FAQ

Kids with radicchio

We are excited for the future Food Literacy Center’s cooking school, which also serves as Food Literacy Center’s headquarters. We look forward to providing meaningful programs that invite the Leataata Floyd community to share this resource. If you have any questions about the project or Food Literacy Center, please reach out to

About Food Literacy Center

1. What is Food Literacy Center?
Food Literacy Center is a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization with a clear mission: to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. Food Literacy Center teaches elementary children from low-income school about cooking and nutrition to improve our health,
environment, and economy.

2. Who does Food Literacy Center currently serve?
Food Literacy Center currently serves 400 students a week in 8 schools in the
Sacramento area.

3. How is Food Literacy Center funded?
Food Literacy Center is an independent 501c3 nonprofit that operates with the support
of community donors and grants. We are incredibly thankful to our donors for making
our programs possible. As Food Literacy Center continues to grow with the opening of
the cooking school, we hope that your donations grow with us and allow us to keep
serving the children and families of Sacramento.

4. Why is Food Literacy Center important?
Research shows that only 4% of kids in the U.S. eat enough veggies. 40% of kids struggle with obesity, and 58% of Sacramento kids use free/reduced lunch programs. Food Literacy Center is dedicated to teaching elementary children in low-income school how to be resilient, including skills like identifying a healthy veggie, making healthy snacks, and how to cook with a recipe. Food Literacy Center exposes students to fruits and vegetables they may have never tried before, giving them the tools to lead a healthy lifestyle.

5. How can I get involved?
Become a Volunteer
Become a Donor
Become a Sponsor

About the Cooking School & Our Headquarters

1. What is the cooking school?
The cooking school is a 5,000 square foot facility that will be the new headquarters of
Food Literacy Center. This state-of-the-art, green facility will include a cooking school,
commercial kitchen, training and office space. From the facility, Food Literacy Center
will operate community programs to benefit the school district and community.

2. Where is the cooking school located?
The facility is located at Floyd Farms adjacent to Leataata Floyd Elementary. Along with the cooking school facility, the 2.5-acre Floyd Farms will also be home to a community garden run by the City of Sacramento and student gardens managed by Food Literacy Center staff.

3. Who will the project serve?
The project will serve the 330 elementary school students enrolled at Leataata Floyd
Elementary and their families, students throughout the district, and community

4. What services will the cooking school provide?
Planned services will include:

  • FREE afterschool cooking and nutrition programs throughout the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD)
  • FREE cooking programs for Leataata Floyd Elementary students
  • FREE gardening programs for Leataata Floyd Elementary students
  • Family night meals
  • SCUSD teacher training
  • Field trips for SCUSD schools
  • Statewide Food Literacy training

5. Why is the cooking school important?
82% of Leataata Floyd students participate in free/reduced lunch programs and 96% are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Rates of diet-related disease are high, reflecting the 40% of Sacramento students who are obese or overweight, and 1 in 3 living with type 2
diabetes. Food Literacy Center programs give these students access to fresh fruits and
vegetables and educate them on cooking, nutrition, and healthy options.

Right now, Food Literacy Center has reached capacity to run programs out of our
current space. In order to provide high-quality services for all Food Literacy Center
students, we need more space, including cooking classroom and commercial kitchen.

6. What is the project timeline?
Groundbreaking took place in Fall of 2019, with a projected opening in Fall of 2021.

Cooking School & Food Literacy Center

1. How is the cooking school funded?
The cooking school is being built through developer fees paid by The Mill at Broadway.
The school district owns the building and is leasing it to Food Literacy Center.

2. How are programs funded?

Programs will be delivered by Food Literacy Center thanks to donations from the community.

Many programs for students will be free, and the quantity will be based on available funding.

Other programs for field trips, community members, and families will be provided on a fee basis to cover costs of program delivery.

3. What is Food Literacy Center’s role in the project?
Food Literacy Center was chosen for this project by all the project partners after a multi-year community-wide search. Formal approval was conducted by the SCUSD Board of Directors in a unanimous vote.

Food Literacy Center will act as the operating manager of the cooking school and
gardens and will continue to operate independent of the school district as a contracted
partner and a 501c3 nonprofit.

Food Literacy Center has been voluntarily participating on the project for 5 years,
providing pro-bono services and expertise on the design and needs of the facility.

4. How will the cooking school expand Food Literacy Center’s programs?
With the new facility, Food Literacy Center staff will be able to reach more students with a wider variety of services, as community funding is received.

5. How will cooking school programs integrate with existing school day instruction?
Food Literacy Center is working closely with the district and Leataata Floyd Elementary School to ensure all programs meet educational and social goals that are also in alignment with the nonprofit’s mission.

For Teachers

1. How can my class participate in a free program?
Contact our office to discuss.

2. How will program participation be determined?
Food Literacy Center develops a budget annually based on funding commitments. We
use this to determine how many programs we can provide for free and in how many

Additional fee-based programs will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
These are often determined by timing and availability of staff instructors. We will set
aside a certain amount of time each semester for fee-based programs, and once slots
are full, we will have a waiting list.

Food Literacy Center will develop a calendar at the start of each school year and share it with the district so teachers can contact us to plan ahead.

3. Can I use the gardens without Food Literacy Center staff present?
Unfortunately, when our offices close, our student gardens will be closed as well. If you want to schedule a class please contact our Program Manager.

Unsupervised use of the garden space will be limited to non-garden programs, such as
reading or PE, unless a teacher has been trained to properly use and care for our garden

4. Can I use the kitchen classroom without Food Literacy Center staff present?
No, we will not be leasing our classroom space

5. Will I be able to use the food from the school garden?
No. The food that’s being grown will be part of our cooking and gardening curriculum. If there is anything leftover, we will communicate with teachers interested in offering
tasting education. We can train you to deliver tasting education from your classroom or
the garden.

6. What programs will we have to pay for?

  • Programs for visiting schools, family members, and community members will likely be fee-based to cover costs.
  • Programs delivered to Leataata Floyd Elementary students and afterschool students in Title 1 schools are generally free and covered by our donors.

7. I have feedback about a program I participated in. Who do I talk to?
We love feedback! We cannot improve unless we hear from you, and we want what’s
best for our students. We operate from a place of learning, just like our students. You
can talk to any Food Literacy Center staff member to share your ideas and feedback. We would love your help to make our programs better!

We will also offer formal opportunities to complete surveys and participate in meetings
where you can offer your ideas and input. But don’t wait for those! Share it with us any

8. Who does Food Literacy Center report to?
Food Literacy Center operates as an independent 501c3 nonprofit and is headed by an
executive director, who oversees daily operations of the organization. The nonprofit
leases the site from the district and has been contracted as the project operator by the
district. We partner closely with the Leataata Floyd Elementary principal, yet have our
own contract at the district level and must meet our own separate federal and state
requirements. Parts of the project are also overseen by the City of Sacramento,
specifically the community gardens.

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