Since schools shut down due to COVID-19, we have been providing
our curriculum and cooking lessons online and
distributing at-home cooking kits for our former afterschool
students. This summer, we continue to provide Veggie Recipe Kits
to students at the schools we serve so they can cook a healthy
meal for their family and practice their food literacy skills at
home. These students are food and nutrition insecure.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that we teach our
children about embracing racial diversity. To create a lasting
anti-racist shift in our society, we must plant seeds of
empathy and inclusivity early and often. If you’re not
sure how to have these important conversations with your
children, here are some helpful resources to get you started
When we commit to protecting kids’ health with vegetables, we
also stand up for their lives. Black lives matter. We stand with
our Black community members to call out injustice and to take
action. Food literacy is food justice.
Our Kids Spring Farmers Market looked a little different this
year, but the goal was the same–set up our students to practice
food literacy at home. Our kids went home with an assortment of
fresh fruits and vegetables thanks to Nugget Markets.
Our community has spoken. Through your generous
donations yesterday on Big Day of Giving, you helped us
raise $33,333 to support students facing food and
nutrition insecurity. Your gifts speak to the priorities of our
community. Thank you for putting our kids’ health at the top of
We’re in a crisis. Rates of food and nutrition
insecurity are rising. At Food Literacy Center, we combine
immediate food assistance with resilience skill-building. We
haven’t let the crisis stop us. Support our kids on Big Day of
We miss our kids! We have remained focused on
reaching them since schools closed due to COVID-19. This week, in
partnership with SCUSD Nutrition Services Department, we begin a
Veggie STEM Box distribution targeting the elementary students in
our former afterschool programs. These students are food and
Over the years, these kids have fallen in love with veggies, and
we want to ensure they continue to have access to both our
STEM-based curriculum, and the fresh produce needed to make our
In 2015, Food Literacy Center and its community partners formed a
collaborative project called FEAST, or Food Education and School
Transformation, to inspire students at Sacramento’s low-income
elementary schools to eat fresh and locally-sourced fruits and
veggies. We collaborate with Health Education Council and
Soil Born Farms to create
family health-centered programs to fill a gap in the school
district. Together, our programs teach cooking skills, nutrition,
gardening, and fitness to students and their parents. FEAST
improves family health by inviting kids to inspire their parents.
Students will learn to stretch food dollars and throw away less
food by making a recipe that uses the whole vegetable. The
Broccoli & Potato Taco recipe was developed with students to
promote the SCUSD School Wellness Policy.
Reaching Our Kids
As we build our STEM-based classroom lessons into online distance
learning tools, our commitment to our students remains firm. Our
goal is to reach the children we have been serving for a
decade–and if you’re in Iowa or San Diego, you can now join,
Kids will learn that buying ingredients to make meals at home can
be less expensive and healthier than eating out. When you cook
for yourself, you know what is in your food and have more control
over what goes in it.
People around the world are hypervigilant about preventing the
spread of COVID-19. It’s important work, though it is not a
mindset to which we’re accustomed. In America, we spend the
majority of our healthcare budget on treating problems once they
Right now, we are focused on the opposite end of the healthcare
spectrum: keeping people healthy before they get sick in the
first place. We may never know how important our stay-at-home
contributions were to the overall health of our community,
because it will be measured by what did NOT happen.
Kids will understand that our bodies need fat and that it is used
for storing energy for later. Kids will be able to recognize
which foods contain fats that are good for our bodies and fats
that we should limit in our diets.
Students will understand what grains are and what foods contain
Our bodies need fiber every day. It keeps our bodies clean, and
it helps us feel full. If we eat a fruit or vegetable with every
snack and meal, we will eat fiber. There are other kinds of fiber
that our bodies like, too. It comes from whole grains.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my
mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.’ You will always
find people who are helping.” ~ Mr. Rogers.
Today, we face a grave public health crisis with COVID-19. Our
response: With children at home, we swiftly launched our first
online food literacy lesson within 3 days of school closures. We
will roll out two lessons every week, complete with video
classes. Anyone can follow along at home. They are available for FREE.
Students will be able to assemble a healthy meal/snack by
following a recipe, and be able to share ideas about how to add a
fruit or veggie to every snack or meal. Kids will learn and
practice safe knife skills.
Schools have closed due to COVID-19. In the face of uncertainty,
I want to assure you that Food Literacy Center is here to help!
We are committed to serving our students and our community. As a
nonprofit focused on preventative health, we have skills and
tools to share to help us get through this together. We’re
rolling up our sleeves to release resources that, until now, have
only been available to our instructors. We want you to have them,
too–and we will be providing them for free.
Food Literacy Center is honored to be chosen as the recipient of
grant funding from Dignity Health, The Rite Aid Foundation
KidCents program, Sierra Health Foundation, The Anthony Cerami
Ann Dunne Foundation for World Health, and UC Davis Health. Since
2011, Food Literacy Center has committed to making a difference
in the Sacramento community through food literacy education.
I stopped by our food literacy class last week to ask the
students what they think of our program. I can’t wait to share
Viri’s story with you! It will fill you with holiday cheer.
Viri is in second grade. Her parents operate a taco truck in
South Sacramento, and they try to teach Viri to eat healthy. Her
mom is glad that Viri is hearing the same messages about healthy
eating once a week in the free cooking and nutrition class
offered at her school through Food Literacy Center.
This week Food Literacy Center hosted the Kids Holiday
Farmers Market sponsored by Nugget Markets. We sent 140
students home over winter break with 1,288 pounds of fresh fruits
and vegetables so they can continue practicing the
healthy habits they learn in food literacy class.
Rates of diet-related disease are high, reflecting the 40% of
students in Sacramento who are obese or overweight, and 1 in 3
living with type 2 diabetes. Studies show that developing healthy
habits early can help prevent these diet-related diseases. Our
free cooking and nutrition program empowers kids to improve their
diets with healthy food.
We invite you to follow Aubrey, a food adventurer in our food
literacy program, as we share what her day looks like.
Sacramento, CA – The Kids Holiday Farmers Market, hosted by Food
Literacy Center, will take place on Monday, December 16 at 2:30
p.m. at an elementary school in Sacramento City Unified School
District. The Holiday Farmers Market, in partnership with
Permanente, and LIBERTY Dental Plan will
offer Food Literacy Center students the chance to take home an
assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables for the winter break.
Despite the abundance of articles and posts claiming there is an
easy way to liberate pomegranate seeds from their pith (aka fake
news), it is still a labor-intensive task. Do not let that deter
you from enjoying the sweet “seed-apple” gems. With a little
practice, you will master the process and reap the
health-intensive benefits and delectable flavor of the
Amber Stott is the Founder and CEO of Food Literacy
Last year, a teacher at Leataata Floyd Elementary asked the
students why they like their food literacy class. Several
students said they like trying new foods. Others said they love
cooking their own food. One student said, “They never give up on
School is getting healthier for Sacramento kids! Food Literacy
Center shares plans for our new cooking school, which broke
ground yesterday. Check out drone footage of the future site,
architectural drawings, and hear about our founder & CEO’s
Stacey Kauffman is the Board President for Food Literacy
Center, and Senior Vice President at Radio.com.
Thank you for supporting Food Literacy Center on its path to a
new cooking school at the Leataata Floyd Elementary School
campus. This ambitious, first-of-its-kind project brings
together a unique set of partners in America’s Farm-to-Fork
Capital. Let me provide some history of how this all began over
eight years ago.
SACRAMENTO, CA. (September 18, 2019) – Food Literacy Center is
pleased to announce the official groundbreaking of the Food
Literacy Center’s future cooking school at Floyd Farms. Floyd
Farms at Leataata Floyd Elementary will be home to a city-run
community garden, Food Literacy Center’s cooking school and
student gardens managed by the nonprofit’s program staff. The
project will serve the 330 elementary school students enrolled at
Leataata Floyd Elementary and their families, students throughout
the Sacramento City Unified School District, and community
September is Food Literacy Month and we are celebrating by raising awareness and funds to empower kids to make healthy choices! We are joined by an incredible line-up of Food Literati Leaders and sponsors that are fundraising in September to fund free food literacy classes for 161 elementary students.
Follow the links for either each team or individual below to contribute to their personal fundraising campaign.
SACRAMENTO, CA. (September 3, 2019) – This September,
Sacramento’s Food Literacy Center is celebrating their 7th annual
Month. Since 2012, Food Literacy Center has worked to share
Food Literacy Month with Sacramento elementary schools,
empowering children to eat their vegetables and improve their
Food Literacy Center is honored to be chosen as the recipient of
grant funding from The California Endowment, Sierra Health
Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Rabobank, N.A., TEGNA Foundation,
and the Safeway Foundation. Since 2011, Food Literacy Center has
committed to making a difference in the Sacramento community
through food literacy education.
Our new center is coming soon! Floyd Farms at Leataata Floyd
Elementary will be home to a city-run community garden, Food
Literacy Center’s cooking school and headquarters, and student
gardens managed by our program staff.
As part of our 14-week curriculum, Food Literacy Center merged
tasting education with advocacy training at our Kids Spring
Farmers Market on May 24. Students “shopped” using fake money for
the veggies they wanted to take home. They selected from an
assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables with support from
The California Endowment,
The Rite Aid Foundation
KidCents program, and Rabobank.
Food Literacy Center is excited to announce the 8th Annual Sacramento Food Film Festival, a
week-long event that showcases culinary creativity in combination
with award-winning films in unique locations in Sacramento. The
Sacramento Food Film Festival will take place April 10-16 and
includes three events benefitting Food Literacy Center.
Food Literacy Center is honored to be chosen as the recipient of
grant funding from Dignity Health, Raley’s Extra Credit, The Rite
Aid Foundation KidsCents program and UC Davis Health. Since 2011,
Food Literacy Center has committed to making a difference in the
Sacramento community through food literacy education.
Food Literacy Center was mentioned in the From Farm to Table
and Back Again: Innovations to Feed More with
Less, featuring Congresswoman Chellie Pingree
(D-ME) and UC Davis Professor of Food Science and
Technology Ned Spang.
When Food Literacy Center started, volunteer Heather Teoh
helped Food Literacy Center as our first communications intern.
She helped teach school classes, develop recipes, and
more. One of Heather’s signature recipes and traditions she
introduced was a Singaporean dish, Chinese New Year Yu
Sheng Salad. It’s a celebratory meal that brings good luck to
those who eat it.
I was lucky enough to teach a group of kindergarten students at
John Cabrillo Elementary this semester, and was so excited to
see how far they’d come by the end of our 14 weeks together. -
Being a small nonprofit, we depend on our dedicated
volunteers! Classroom volunteers help our Food
Geniuses deliver top-quality food literacy classes in 8
elementary schools every week. Special event volunteers help us
host fundraisers like the Sacramento Food Film Festival.
Want to know more and why they love to help the kids? We are
profiling a few volunteers to share their stories.
Last month, the USDA rolled back healthy school lunch
regulations, making it easier for junk food to reach our kids.
We’re responding by doubling our efforts to keep local schools
healthy for our kids.
Thanks to Studio40 Live for featuring Food Literacy
Center during the holidays! Chief food genius and founding
executive director Amber Stott chatted with Scott Moak
& Big Al Sams about our mission and how you can help.
Kat Madru interviewed Founding Executive Director Amber K. Stott
and talked about Food Literacy Center. Listen in below
to find out how food literacy works through prevention,
empowerment, and education and how you can help!
Founding Executive Director Amber K. Stott spent some time with
Doug Thomas to talk about Food Literacy Center. Listen in
below to find out why food literacy is vital for low-income kids
and what you can do to help.
September is Food
Literacy Month and we are celebrating by raising awareness
and funds to empower kids to make healthy choices! We are joined
by an incredible line-up of Food Literati Leaders and
sponsors that are fundraising in September to fund free
food literacy classes in two schools.
Follow the links for either each team or individual below to
contribute to their personal fundraising campaign.
Founding Executive Director Amber K. Stott sat down with Local Dirt co-host
Matthew Bridges to chat about Food Literacy Center, why it’s
important and what you can do to help. Listen to the interview
Adrienne Sellers is an AmeriCorps member serving with Food
Literacy Center’s second cohort of Food Literacy Corps. She
joined the Food Literacy Center team as a Food Literacy Corps
member in September 2017 and will complete her term in August
2018. Adrienne is responsible for teaching food literacy
curriculum to low-income students at David Reese Elementary
School, Oak Ridge Elementary School, St. Hope PS7 Elementary, and
Leataata Floyd Elementary School. She is the lead contact person
at Leataata Floyd, where she keeps an open line of communication
with her team and the after-school staff, and informs volunteers
of their duties and the daily lessons.
I live in South Sacramento. I am familiar with the challenges
folks face in this community. But after 5 years at UC Santa Cruz,
I came back to my hometown not knowing what was happening. While
looking for a job, I told myself I must find an organization that
will re-introduce me to my own community. What are the needs?
Where are the resources? It was then that I stumbled upon the
Food Literacy Center.
Food Literacy Center is extremely fortunate to have the ardent
support of one of Sacramento’s premier chefs, Rick Mahan,
chef/owner of restaurants OneSpeed and The Waterboy. Over the
years, Rick and his chefs have participated in many Food Literacy
Center events, including this year’s Broccoli HQ Night during the
Sacramento Food Film Festival, and his restaurants were one of
our first donate to help us expand our program to more schools.
Food Literacy Center is peach proud to present an invisible cape
to our latest superhero Rick Mahan!
We were honored to host a lunch for Katsura Omori, Professor and
Researcher of Nutrition Education & Health Education at Yamagata
University in Japan! She has been tasked with building a Center
for Food Literacy at the university to help better educate middle
school children in health and nutrition.
We at Food Literacy Center are so honored and grateful to be
named one of California’s Nonprofits of the Year. Thank you to
Assemblymember McCarty for nominating us for this award.
Food Literacy Center works year-round to inspire kids to eat
their veggies by teaching low-income students about cooking and
nutrition. Food Literacy Center students learn how to improve
their health, the environment and the economy through healthy
eating and food literacy.
This week, we celery-brate 101 certified Food Geniuses completing
our Food Literacy Academy – an intensive training that prepares
community members with the skills needed to teach food literacy
to our kids.
Rutabagas, a root vegetable, are thought to be a cross between a
cabbage and turnip and have originated in Europe in the 17th
century. They are also called Swedes, Russian turnip, Swedish
turnip, Canadian turnip, yellow turnip and winter turnip.
The grapefruit was discovered in Barbados in the 18th century and
planted in Florida in the early 19th century. Today, Florida,
California, Arizona, and Texas are major producers of commercial
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we
give.” – Winston Churchill
Giving during the holidays is a tradition that feels good
for everyone! According to recent studies, when you give to an
organization like Food Literacy Center, your brain’s
pleasure and reward centers light up as if you were the recipient
of the good deed - you feel happier, healthier, and more
connected to others!
Because we know you feel good when you support Food Literacy
Center, we’ve provided Five ways to support our mission this
Last week, local elementary students in food literacy class
tasted and voted on the 2017 Veggie of the Year.
The fifth annual Veggie of the Year Competition began on
September 13 when the public voted for their favorites.
Last week, the top five semi-finalists were brought into the
elementary classroom at 5 local schools, where a team of local
restaurant chefs & culinary students presented the veggies to
students to taste and vote.
The ballots have been cast, and the kids have voted for…
Coming up with healthy breakfast ideas doesn’t have to be
complicated. When you’re thinking about what to make, consider
what you might enjoy – and your kid will probably like it too. To
help you get started, here are five healthy breakfast recipes
your kids will love to make with you.
The kids have voted and we’ve just crowned the 2013 Veggie of the
Year – the nutritous and delicious sweet potato! This root
vegetable will be the star of our Kids Recipe
Contest that will run until Sept 30.
Have you ever tried nopales? We like them so much at Food
Literacy Center that they were voted our 2016-2017 Veggie
of the Year! They’re an ingredient staple in Mexico and are
eaten in salads, with shrimp or in a
Cactus and Corn Salsa that we love to eat with corn chips.
Also known as cactus paddles, there’s one prickly point you have
to first overcome before you can eat them. You don’t have to be a
Food Genius to remove thorns from nopales, but you will feel like
one after learning how easy it is to de-thorn the nopales
School may be out for summer, but like arugula, food literacy is
in season year-round! Whether you crave the outdoors, or
prefer the air-conditioned cool of Sacramento’s various
libraries, Food Literacy Center has something for you. Join
us―it’ll be peachy!
Within the last six months, students at several Sacramento
schools have noticed a few changes. Namely, that their favorite
Food Geniuses from after-school began showing up at lunch and
recess, offering bites of tasty produce. This can mean only one
thing: it’s FEAST tasting thyme!
No-what? You may be more familiar with the term cacti than
nopales, but this succulent plant is flourishing as a tasty,
inventive ingredient in kitchens from coast-to-coast. Nopales are
versatile, healthy and can be easily paired with many different
On January 18, 2012, 120 kids watched anxiously. Dressed in a
colorful apron, I waved carrots, broccoli, grapefruits and other
produce eagerly in front of them as I explained the difference
between fruits and vegetables. We were starting a rhubarb
I was an 11-year-old Hmong kid living in South Sacramento when
college became real for me. I remember how students from UC Davis
and Sac State came to the school I was attending — Susan B.
Anthony Elementary School. They encouraged us to go to college
and gave us awesome swag! I took that message to heart. I wanted
to go to college, achieve big stuff, and become an example for my
family and for my community.
There’s something particularly special about cooking with kids.
Kids that help in the kitchen learn the “how” and “why”
their meals are prepared. For them it’s fascinating,
engaging and above all, a lot of fun! Also, kids are more likely
to eat veggies when they prepare them.
Here are our top 10 Kid-friendly kitchen duties to get your
culinary protégé acting as your new sous chef.
Apriums are a stone fruit similar to plums, apricots and peaches.
With the exterior appearance of an apricot, apriums have an
orange, juicy flesh and a slight fuzzy exterior. They taste like
a sweet apricot that contains a hint of plum. At the farmers
market or grocery store, look for apriums that are firm with a
little give and have a fragrant aroma.
Food Literacy Center’s first year at Leataata Floyd Elementary
School, sponsored by Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, has come to a
cauliflower close for summer break. During the past 13 weeks
the kids became food adventurers, cooking new recipes and
tasting new fruits and vegetables like kumquats and rainbow
Since the beginning of the century, an influx of food-focused
films have been cooked up by film producers, creating a
food-conscious public movement around food issues similar to that
of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 book “The Jungle” about Chicago’s
meatpacking industry, which eventually led to the establishment
of the Food and Drug Administration.
Carrot Cartwheels! With the help of Sacramento area residents, we
raised 7,200 fresh fruits and vegetables to send students home
with the recommended daily serving of fruits & vegetables during
the long holiday break.
We can’t successfully teach food literacy without the unwavering
support of wonderful parents. We’d like to shine a strawberry
spotlight on Food Literacy Supermom Evonne Fisher who has gone
above and beyond in ensuring her aptly-nicknamed daughter, Pear,
gets the best food literacy experience.