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Press release

Food Literacy Center Receives National AmeriCorps Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2016

Contact: Amber K. Stott

  • Mobile: (916) 873-2025
  • amber@foodliteracycenter.org

SACRAMENTO, CA - Since its inception, Food Literacy Center’s goal has been to reach every child in California. Today, they are one giant step closer thanks to a new AmeriCorps program award administered by California Volunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This nationally-competitive award provides the nonprofit with a large team of AmeriCorps service members to deliver programs.

In the next two months, Food Literacy Center will be recruiting and training 30 new AmeriCorps service members as Food Geniuses, the instructors who deliver their cooking-based curriculum. These members will serve a 1-year term delivering food literacy education during after-school programs to elementary students. They will start this fall in eight low-income schools, and begin recruiting volunteers to assist them in expanding to additional schools next year. 

“This award marks a melon-sized milestone for Food Literacy Center,” said founding executive director, Amber Stott. “It brings us closer to our dream of edible education for all students. With the help of AmeriCorps service members, we can meaningfully expand our programs.”

Until now, Food Literacy Center has relied on the generosity of community volunteers to serve as Food Geniuses to grow their programs. This successful model had one growth limitation: finding volunteers available during after-school hours who were also willing to commit to a full school year of curriculum on a volunteer basis. This meant growth to new schools happened slower than the nonprofit would have liked, at a rate of about two new schools per year. While this rate of growth is still significant, it is far slower than the rate of demand for Food Literacy Center’s quality curriculum. They haven’t been able to keep pace with their school waiting list.

“Every child deserves access to a nutritious meal,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “Food Literacy Center provides critical services in our community, connecting our next generation with the tools and resources they need to live healthy lives. This award is well deserved, and I look forward to seeing its positive impact as part of the total $4.2 million in Federal funding going to AmeriCorps in Sacramento.”

Today, the nonprofit’s model will be greatly improved as they train AmeriCorps members to become Food Genius instructors alongside our community volunteers. Their year-long service term will enable them to place a consistent team at each school—and recruit additional volunteers to assist.

Full-time AmeriCorps members will dedicate 1700 hours of volunteer service per term in exchange for leadership and career development, and a living stipend provided by this AmeriCorps award. The nonprofit’s AmeriCorps award of $273,314 covers the cost of a living allowance for members, including healthcare for full-time members. Food Literacy Center was responsible for raising matching dollars to support the program. They will continue to look to the community to raise these matching funds upon annual award renewal. 

Food Literacy Center is currently recruiting 30 AmeriCorps members (10 full-time and 20 part-time) to begin service starting September 1. They are also adding two staff positions to support their growth, a Program & Finance Coordinator and a Program Manager. Position descriptions can be found on the nonprofit’s website.

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About Food Literacy Center

Food Literacy Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) established in 2011 in Sacramento, California, with the mission of inspiring kids to eat their vegetables. The organization provides low-income elementary children with after school programming at 8+ schools throughout the Sacramento County Unified School District that teaches cooking and nutrition to improve health, environment, and economy. For more information about Food Literacy Center, visit http://www.foodliteracycenter.org/.

About AmeriCorps

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

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