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It's AmeriCorps Week! Join the Effort to Grow a Healthy Nation

It's AmeriCorps Week, and we're celebrating the extraordinary impact of AmeriCorps members and alums serving America's communities through programs like FoodCorps, an innovative, grassroots approach to solving the national obesity epidemic. With one in four U.S. children struggling with hunger, and one in three obese or overweight, FoodCorps addresses a root cause of both: access to healthy food. 

"FoodCorps gave me a chance to make tangible change in the community I grew up in,” says Erika VanDyke. “It's incredibly rewarding to watch kids get excited about healthy food. Hearing 'Miss Erika, look! I ate my celery and carrots today!' made it an experience I wish everyone could have."

If  you want to join the ranks of FoodCorps alumnus Erika VanDyke in growing a nation of healthy kids, now is your chance. FoodCorps is recruiting for its next team of leaders that will serve in limited-resource communities for a year of public service in schools around the country teaching kids about healthy food and where it comes from; growing and tending school gardens; and working with food service teams to get high quality local food onto cafeteria trays.

The first two FoodCorps classes have brought important progress to the schools they serve—from making local beef and lentils staples in Montana cafeterias, to getting Mississippi students excited about harvesting bushels of kale; from building or revitalizing hundreds of school and community gardens, to engaging thousands of volunteers and parents in their efforts.

For its third class, FoodCorps seeks up to 130 men and women with a passion for serving their country as AmeriCorps service members. In addition to the 12 states where it currently operates—Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oregon—FoodCorps plans to expand to California, Hawai’i and New Jersey in 2013. 

During your year with FoodCorps you will gain such skills and titles as community organizer, garden educator, taste-test leader, volunteer coordinator, public health advocate, tool-shlepper, cooking instructor….the list goes on and on!

But best of all, you’ll help kids get excited about vegetables. As current service member Liz Broussard explains, “A school garden can be good for so many things in a school setting. First of all, it's fun for kids. They get exposed to nature, benefit from the fresh air and physical activity, and there are a lot of chances for teachers to use the garden for lessons in everything from science to reading. But the real magic of a garden for kids is that it's hard to turn your nose up at a vegetable that you helped grow, that you watched turn from a sprout to a tomato or a squash.”

Are you passionate about building a healthier future for school children? The application is open through March 31. Visit www.foodcorps.org to learn more.