Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Local nonprofit’s work goes beyond farm-to-fork to address all aspects of food system
Sacramento, California - As Mayor Johnson declared 2013 Sacramento’s “Year of Food,” California Food Literacy Center is working to ensure Sacramento’s new identity as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” will go beyond raising awareness of food’s travel between a farm and a restaurant plate to addressing the entire food system.

“This is an exciting time for Sacramento’s food movement, and we’re excited the mayor shares in our joyful love of food,” said Amber Stott, California Food Literacy Center executive director. “As we work to inspire children to eat more fruits and vegetables, the mayor’s efforts will reinforce our education about the entire food system – hunger, obesity, food deserts, nutrition and educating the next generation about these issues. The Year of Food will celebrate our amazing farmers and chefs and our vibrant food advocacy movement.”

Twenty-one food advocates from across Northern California are currently training in California Food Literacy Center’s nine-week Food Literacy Academy to become teachers in their communities. Nonprofit executives, professional chefs and community activists are learning basic nutrition, classroom management and education best practices, curriculum writing, food safety, food systems trends and more. After the training, they will dedicate 100 hours of volunteer service to food-related efforts.

“We need more boots on the ground helping kids learn to cook and love fresh, whole foods,” Stott said. “The sheer volume of response we had to our Food Literacy Academy call for applicants shows that Sacramentans are ready to shape our food system in a positive way.”

California Food Literacy Center also partnered with Valley Vision’s Food System Collaborative to host the recent State of the Food System Address in Sacramento, which included more than 100 leaders from the food and agriculture sectors. The address included a new Sacramento Region Food Charter that emphasizes recycling, food security and home gardens to achieve a hunger-free region that provides access to safe, local food.

While working to educate food advocates, California Food Literacy Center also continues to bring food literacy education to children through its work in Capitol Heights Academy’s after-school program in Oak Park. The group is empowering low-income K-5 students to explore new foods, learn to cook healthy, sustainable snacks and make smart choices. Students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read nutrition labels, basic cooking skills and environmental impacts of their food choices. California Food Literacy Center created the curriculum and will bring the program to more schools across the state, thanks to their new Food Literacy Advocates.

“After three months of working with the K-1 students, 92 percent said they believe healthy food tastes good, and 88 percent knew how to read a nutrition label,” Stott said. “These kids are bringing knowledge back to their families – they’re our best food advocates.”

The nonprofit also is joining Slow Food Sacramento to host the Sacramento Food Film Festival March 15-16, which is focused on food literacy. The event features food system films and discussions, as well as honey, sushi and sake tastings and a kids’ scavenger hunt.

California Food Literacy Center is also forming partnerships with libraries and farms to create curriculum for parents and children this summer. The group will hold its 2nd Annual Food Literacy Month in September, and its second Holiday Fruits and Veggies Drive in December.

“Mayor Johnson really set the tone for an amazing year,” Stott said. “We’re proud to join him by teaching Sacramentans about all of our phenomenal local food that’s good for them – and good for the planet.”
For more information about California Food Literacy Center, how to get involved and how to make a donation, visit www.californiafoodliteracy.org.

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