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Press release

Veggie of the Year Competition Brings Back Past Winners
In Celebration of Food Literacy Month, Kids Vote on Veggie of the Year


In 2012, Food Literacy Center worked with the California legislature to declare September as Food Literacy Month to raise awareness about the need for cooking and nutrition education for kids. To celebrate the month, Food Literacy Center hosts the kid-favorite event, Veggie of the Year Competition. This year, the competition will take place on Thursday, September 20. For the first time in the history of the organization, Veggie of the Year winning chefs from the past five years are returning to showcase their winning vegetable and compete for ultimate bragging rights. Along with the competing chefs, Congresswoman Doris Matsui will be in attendance and giving brief remarks.

Six chefs, including the past five winners and a wildcard, will make a veggie-forward bite for the kids at Pacific Elementary and compete to win the kids’ votes for Veggie of the Year. Participating chefs include:

2013: Shannon McElroy formerly of Masullo featuring sweet potato
2014: Ravin Patel of Selland Family Restaurants featuring carrots
2015: Suleka Sun-Lindley of VEG Restaurant & Thai Basil featuring bell peppers
2016: Kurt Spataro of Paragary Restaurant Group featuring nopales
2017: Justine Kelly with Sun Basket featuring beets
WILDCARD: Rick Mahan of The Waterboy & OneSpeed Pizza featuring radish – chosen by public voting

The public is also invited to donate to their favorite veggie team to help select the People’s Choice Veggie, and importantly, to support Food Literacy Center where the mission is simple: inspire kids to eat their vegetables. The Food Literacy Center has support from loyal sponsors including: Bailarin Cellars, Eat Farm to Fork,, Lucas Family Donor Fund, Safeway, SMUD, County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, Local Roots Food Tours, and FleishmanHillard.

With 40% of Sacramento kids struggling with obesity, and 1 in 3 suffering from type two diabetes, Food Literacy Center’s continued work is essential to the Sacramento community. To learn more about Food Literacy and opportunities to get involved with their mission, visit


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 children in low-income elementary schools with after school programming at 13 schools throughout the Sacramento County Unified School District that teaches cooking and nutrition to improve health, economy, and the environment. For more information about Food Literacy Center, visit

Veggie of the Year Press Release 9-13-18

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