“Thousands of young Americans have dedicated themselves to reforming the food chain, from field to table, and of all the programs that have emerged to channel that energy and idealism, FoodCorps is the most inspiring.” — Michael Pollan
Are you majoring in dietetics? Community health? Or interested in farm to school programs? FoodCorps is currently accepting applications for an 11-month service term where members will be working closely with communities to provide nutrition education, gardening lessons, and access to healthy food. This is a great opportunity for anyone who’s passionate about promoting sustainability, agriculture, and healthy lifestyles. FoodCorps members are essential in connecting children to their (local!) food source, allowing children to grow and harvest various fruits/vegetables. Plus, you know it’s legitimate if it’s backed by Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The First Lady is even a huge supporter!
The FoodCorps website outlines their three pillars of service:
- “Engagement: Service members grow healthy food with students, teachers, and community members in school and community gardens, dynamic educational settings where kids can get their hands dirty and experience what they’re learning first-hand. While some service members expand/maintain already-existing school gardens, greenhouses and hoop houses, others work to establish new gardens. Service members develop garden sustainability plans and recruit community volunteers to ensure that the projects they start last into the future.
- Knowledge: Service members teach children about food and nutrition in the classroom by developing and teaching lesson plans to grades ranging from kindergarten through high school, integrating activities into subjects such as math, science and history, working with teachers and school administrators to increase food and nutrition education in curricula, and more.
- Access: Service members change what’s for lunch by sourcing food from local farms for cafeterias, promoting local foods through cafeteria taste tests, working with school food directors and staff to integrate healthier foods into breakfast, lunch and snack programs, and more.”
Aside from the obvious benefits, why should you join?
FoodCorps is apart of the AmeriCorps Service Network which means are eligible to receive:
- $17,500 living allowance: paid bi-weekly
- $5,775 AmeriCorps Segal Education Award
- Student loan forbearance
- Health insurance: basic health, vision and dental coverage
- Partial childcare reimbursements
Where will you serve?
You can learn more about host sites in each of the states here.
Farm to school programs are gaining momentum across the country and are having a positive impact on children’s health. These programs will be well intertwined with public health efforts. Of course, FoodCorps has won me over. I am determined to finish my application over Spring Break. If you are interested, they are accepting applications until March 31st. You can find more information here. Be prepared for their question: “If you were a vegetable, what would you be?”
Shannen Keene is a senior from Ellettsville, IN pursuing a degree in Community Health. Bloomington has taught her the value of diversity, culture, and good food. After graduation, she hopes to venture out West to serve for AmeriCorps then apply to an MPH program.
IUSPH Career Services
Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:
•resume and cover letter preparation
•graduate school preparation