IRL with Food Literacy Center
Food Literacy Center is a non-profit organization located in Sacramento, dedicated to helping school-aged children create positive changes with food education. Knowledge is power, and Food Literacy Center has made their focus exactly that—to inspire change for a healthier tomorrow! A FREE t-shirt even awaits you at the bottom of this blog post, how cool is that!?!
The organization was founded by Amber Stott in 2011, and has continued to grow, evolve, and gain momentum. Honey Agency has devoted and donated our creative and marketing strategy to rebrand, which included new name, logo, marketing collateral and development of a brand guide. Check it out here.
Honey Agency believes wholeheartedly in Food Literacy Center’s mission and purpose, so we were thrilled when founder Amber Stott agreed to collaborate with us on an “In Real Life” piece so we could see first-hand what the organization does on a day-to-day basis—empowering the youth with education on nutrition and inspiring them to eat fresh fruits and produce.
I met up with Amber, Elaine (registered Food Literacy Genius), and a team of four Food Literati volunteers. Elaine led the team at this particular South Sac Elementary School, where the volunteers prepared the lesson and menu. Each Food Literacy lesson includes common core teaching standards, so the children are not only learning and changing their behavior towards healthy fruits and vegetables, but also practicing a variety of other essentials such as math, science, and english.
There were about 160 after-school children in the program when I visited. The children were grouped by grade (K-5th) and cycled in accordingly. I participated in the 5th grade group, where over 40 kids shuffled in to have some fun with the Food Literacy Center team.
As soon as the children were seated, the Food Literacy Center team got to work. They started off by introducing themselves, then posing some questions: Do you know what Food Literacy means? I was surprised at how many children were active in answering, and eager to learn more. Many of the children at this particular school had been through the program before, and their excitement was palpable.
The real fun began with a recipe which included yellow and purple endives, shredded carrots, goat cheese, and dried apricots. The volunteers passed each ingredient out one by one, and encouraged the children to pronounce and explain what was in front of them. It was wonderful to watch as the kids explored the ingredients with their 5 senses, discussing them with each other. I was thrilled to see them tasting and pointing out what they liked and didn’t like about the snack.
After their delicious new snack, they were given crayons and paper with different vegetables to choose from and draw. I loved watching the children express themselves creatively! The lesson was a perfect combination of exploring and learning new things alongside creative expression.
The most incredible part of the entire experience was witnessing how many of the children were truly interested in what they were learning. It was an amazing thing to watch as Food Literacy Center really tapped into the ever-evolving minds of the children. You could actually watch as their behavior towards new foods changed and morphed into positive reactions. I left the school with a full heart, knowing that something so positive and incredible is happening in the school system. These kids were actually eager to learn about fruits and vegetables, it’s almost hard to believe without seeing it first hand, and I’m grateful that Food Literacy Center invited me along.
As the farm-to-fork capitol of California, I cannot stress enough how important this program is for not only Sacramento but schools and children across the state. I hope you head over to Food Literacy Center and DONATE or become a member of the Food Literati to help keep this incredible program thriving and growing. If you donate $20 by the end of September, you will receive a free Food Literati tee-shirt. They also have several other options to choose from in regards to membership packages, so head on over and check it out.