California Food Literacy Center
Founded in 2011 as a 501c3 nonprofit, our mission is to inspire change today for a healthy, sustainable tomorrow through enduring community food education.
To promote a food literate population in California. We help Californians understand the story of their food.
Food Literacy [fu: d lit-er-uh-see]
noun: Understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our community.
Why Food Literacy Matters
Did you know that only 14% of Americans eat five servings of fruit and veggies daily? In California, 38% of children are overweight—a rate three times higher than it was 30 years ago, when the obesity epidemic began. Researchers believe we have two generations of Americans who do not know how to cook. Meanwhile, the entire global food chain may account for a third of what’s heating our planet. Our current food system is taking a toll on our health, the environment, our kids and communities.
Who We Serve
Teaching children with our curriculum Your Sandwich Can Save the World! is our primary objective. By educating through local nonprofits, libraries, and schools, we help kids develop healthy food habits while they are young. We teach a weekly after-school program to 120 K-5th grades, low-income students at Capitol Heights Academy in Oak Park, Sacramento. We also deliver one-time food literacy programs to foster youth, business groups, and other interested youth and adult audiences.
What We Do
We teach. Basic cooking skills, nutrition, food and vegetable appreciation, and environmental impacts (bees, organic)—these are just some of the lessons in our life-changing curriculum.
We feed. By introducing healthy, sustainable snacks and introducing children to new fruits and vegetables with our curriculum, we empower students to explore new foods, feed themselves—and make smart choices.
We train. As demand for food literacy education from schools and nonprofits grows, so does the need for teachers trained to teach food literacy. Our Food Literacy Academy provides an intensive 10-week training for community members who are screened through an application process, and asked to commit 100 annual hours of volunteer service to our community, helping bring our curriculum to more schools and nonprofits.
We believe that good food should be fun! We focus on the positive side of food, sharing practical, affordable, and approachable ways to eat well, rather than harping on what foods people should avoid or eliminate. We aim to engage rather than frighten.
We don’t rely on anecdotes to know that our programs are working. We test and measure our programs, using evaluation data to improve as we discover best practices to create lasting change. In our pilot program pre-test, we asked K-1st graders if healthy snacks taste good; 82% of kids said “no.” After 1 month 92% of the kids said “yes.” Additionally, 75% of children K-5th grade say it matters where their food comes from.
These are just a few of the results from our pilot program with K-5th graders at Capitol Heights Academy.
How YOU Can Help
Be part of the solution. Contact us to make a donation and to volunteer. Amber Stott, Founding Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-873-2025.