SACRAMENTO – Toy drives are in full swing, but California Food Literacy Center sees a different need: healthy food. Local residents can make sure every child in the Sacramento nonprofit’s after-school program at Capitol Heights Academy in Oak Park goes home for holiday break with a box of 25 fruits and vegetables – five a day for five days.
The drive will take place 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on December 15 at Whole Foods Market Arden-Arcade, and the group hopes to raise 3,375 pieces of produce. Participants are encouraged to purchase produce at Whole Foods but can also drop off fresh fruits and vegetables during the six-hour window.
“There are so many worthwhile causes right now providing gifts to kids, but we’re in a school where 91 percent of the kids are on free and reduced price lunches,” said Amber Stott, executive director, California Food Literacy Center. “When they go home for the holiday, we know they don’t have access to the fresh produce they’ve grown to love in our class. This will help them maintain healthy habits while also maintaining their enthusiasm for healthy food while they’re on break from school.”
California Food Literacy Center was established in July 2011 to educate and inspire low-income children to eat healthy food. Students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read nutrition labels, basic cooking skills and environmental impacts of their food choices. The nonprofit also runs the Food Literacy Academy, which trains community members as food literacy teachers. To date, the nonprofit has 60 active volunteers and serves 2,400 kids annually. After just three months of food literacy education, 70 percent of students request the foods they have tasted in class, including broccoli, celery and oranges. Ninety-two percent of K-1st grade students say healthy food tastes good, and 88 percent of children understand how to read a nutrition label. To make a donation: www.californiafoodliteracy.org.
For more information or to make a monetary donation toward the campaign, contact Stott at (916) 873-2025.