While there are many organizations that are working to improve school food, FoodCorps preaches that children fall in love with fruits and vegetables when they have opportunities to grow them, prepare them, and try them again and again. The group shows children how to get their hands in the dirt, encouraging them to spend time in gardens pulling carrots, beets and sweet potatoes from the ground. Then the children get to taste the fruits of their labor and learn about them through culinary and nutrition lessons.
“It’s incredibly important to give kids the tools and skills they need to build their own relationship with healthy food, and our job is to support them in that,” said Curt Ellis, the group’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “It’s about helping them discover what they love to eat rather than telling them what they should eat.”
Mr. Ellis started FoodCorps a decade ago after his work as a co-creator of the documentary “King Corn,” which looked at how America’s overproduction of corn impacts public health, the environment and family farms. Mr. Ellis traveled around the country showing his film on college campuses and was astonished by how many young people approached him to talk about their desire to change the food system.