Oregon is one of ten pilot states - and the only one on the west coast - chosen to host a new program aimed at improving school food and gardens.
FoodCorps is a project of the National Farm to School Network and is modeled after AmeriCorps. It places young adults in high-need communities to help school children grow gardens and improve the quality of cafeteria food.
Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe is the Farm to School Program Manager at the Oregon Department of Agriculture. She says the state is leading the nation in this movement, but can’t do it alone.
Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe: “We really lack the capacity and the human power to meet the actual needs. We have a real need for improving access to fruits and vegetables and healthy food for kids and their families.”
The first five FoodCorps service members are expected to be working in schools across Oregon by next fall.