Food Literacy Center

@FoodLiteracyCenter

Sacramento, CA   |  http://foodliteracycenter.org/

Mission

Food Literacy Center’s mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. We teach children in low-income elementary schools cooking, nutrition, gardening, and active play to improve our health, environment, and economy.

Notes from the nonprofit

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the need for food literacy has never been higher. Poor diet and poor health lead to high risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19 infection, especially obesity and diabetes. It is crucial that we continue educating children and families about how to stay safe and healthy right now. We deliver free programs to low-income schools, inspiring kids to eat their veggies. Right now, we’re providing these programs via video online and downloadable lessons plans and recipes on our website. Our funding comes from our local community, who continue to show us with their donations that this issue is a priority. You can learn more about this exciting project here: https://www.foodliteracycenter.org/future-cooking-school We look forward to serving our children and our community with your support! Thank you. -- Amber Stott, CEO & Chief Food Genius

Ruling year info

2012

Founding Executive Director

Ms. Amber Stott

Main address

PO Box 188706

Sacramento, CA 95818 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

CALIFORNIA FOOD LITERACY CENTER

EIN

45-3973268

NTEE code info

Nutrition Programs (K40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Only 4% of kids eat the recommended servings of vegetables a day and 40% of kids in Sacramento are obese. Low intake of vegetables in childhood is linked to health problems throughout the lifespan, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Our objectives are to improve low-income children's knowledge, attitude, and behavior toward healthy eating to prevent childhood obesity and other diet-related health problems. We teach weekly 45-minute food literacy classes delivered over 14 weeks in afterschool programs where we rotate children through our cooking and nutrition program. In our classrooms, students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read a recipe, cooking skills - and they have fun. We are unique in that we use positive reinforcement, getting kids excited about fruits and vegetables through culturally appropriate recipes and hands-on activities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Food Literacy Education

Food Literacy Center provides free food literacy education targeting children in low income elementary schools. We teach twice weekly online food literacy classes in response to the COVID-19 crisis with our cooking and nutrition program. Pre-COVID-19, we were delivering classes in schools, and we plan to do so again once schools are reopened. Students taste fruits and vegetables, learn how to read and cook from a recipe — and they have fun! These classes and activities benefit the children we serve by teaching them the habit of eating their vegetables, which helps prevent diet-related diseases in this high-risk audience. Maintaining good health is more important than ever as we are isolated at home.

In our program, students learn fruit and vegetable identification, how to read nutrition labels, cooking skills – and they have fun! We use positive reinforcement to get kids excited about fruits and vegetables. We cook culturally appropriate recipes and integrate hands-on STEM-based activities. Our students learn and explore health education and nutrition through science experiments, recipes, and real-world projects, like making recipes and planting food from seeds that demonstrate academic subjects such as science and math. Studies show that students who practice what they’re learning in a hands-on environment can often retain three and a half times as much as opposed to just sitting in a lecture and listening.

We are unique in that we use positive reinforcement, getting kids excited about fruits and vegetables through culturally appropriate recipes, and hands-on activities. Our objectives are to improve children's knowledge, attitude and behavior toward healthy eating to prevent childhood obesity and other diet-related health problems.

We improve kids' knowledge toward healthy foods through hands-on lessons covering topics such as fiber, sugar, and fruit and vegetable appreciation. Through our STEM-based food literacy curriculum, students learn the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, where food comes from, how to read and cook recipes and nutrition labels, and learn new vocabulary.


We improve kids' behavior toward healthy foods through hands-on weekly cooking lessons where students learn basic cooking skills - like grating and measuring, and how to make recipes they can replicate at home with their families. Research indicates that cooking is the fastest method to improving kids' food literacy and consumption of fruits and vegetables. In the classroom, students learn simple ways to integrate fruits and vegetables into their diets, like swapping jelly for fresh fruit slices in their peanut butter sandwiches. All of our lessons are being rolled out online and made available for free to meet the needs of children who are out of school during the COVID-19 crisis.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Snail of Approval Award 2014

Slow Food Sacramento

Snail of Approval Award 2014

Slow Food Sacramento

Snail of Approval Award 2014

Slow Food Sacramento

Capital Region's 10 Most Inspiring Nonprofits 2015

Kamere & Comstock's Magazine

Public Health Innovator 2016

California Department of Public Health

Floyd Farms Owner/Operator 2016

Sacramento City Unified School District

National AmeriCorps Award 2016

Administered by California Volunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Se

Public Health Innovator 2017

California Department of Public Health

Food Hero Uprooting Conventional Attitudes About Food 2017

Food Tank: The Food Think Tank

California Nonprofit of the Year 2018

Assemblymember Kevin McCarty and California Association of Nonprofits

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our major goals include reducing childhood obesity and improving healthy eating habits among low-income children and supporting community development that sustains healthy food choices in communities of highest need. We want kids to have fun and develop the love for healthy food that creates a lifetime of healthy habits.

We provide 14-weeks of food literacy education to low-income elementary students during after-school programs. We aim to add two new schools every year.

We train community members as food literacy instructors. We aim to train 10-15 food geniuses annually.

Food Literacy Center was founded in 2011 in response to a local gap in the food movement: public education about how the food system affects health, environment, and the economy. Founding Executive Director, Amber Stott, has 16 years of nonprofit management experience and holds numerous local and national awards for her work in the food movement. Since starting the organization, she has advanced food literacy programming from one pilot school serving 120 students per week to eight schools 800 students per week over the course of nine years.

In September 2012, Amber worked with Assemblymember Roger Dickinson to declare September as Food Literacy Awareness Month in California. In 2013, Yolo County, Sacramento County and City of Sacramento also passed our resolution. In addition to five staffs, Food Literacy Center has over 100 community volunteers and 145 certified Food Geniuses.

Accomplished:

Food Literacy Center increased programming from one pilot school serving 120 students per week to eight schools serving 800 students per week over the course of seven years. In the last year, we saw the following positive changes in knowledge, attitude, and behavior of food literacy students:

After receiving 14-week of food literacy education:
• 90% of students tasted new fruits and vegetables (taste education)
• 79% of students reported going home and asking for the fruits and vegetables they used in class (advocacy)
• 70% of students demonstrated positive attitudes toward healthy food (attitude change)

After making one of our signature recipes in class, fourth grader Estella beamed, "I went home and made the salad with my mom!" This is behavior change! We are changing kids' attitude, knowledge and behavior toward healthy eating.

Additional successes include reaching over 20,000 kids through summer reading programs in 28 library branches. We continue to provide monthly food literacy in these libraries.

We now have 110 trained Food Geniuses. In addition to trained Food Geniuses, Food Literacy Center has more than 100 active volunteers who logged 20,231 volunteer hours in 2017, an in-kind value of $588,520.00 to our organization. These volunteers and interns deliver programming weekly alongside our Food Geniuses, enabling us to have a low student to teacher ratio and provide high-quality food literacy education.

Haven't accomplished: We want to fine-tune our evaluation tools to better meet the needs of our program.

Financials

Food Literacy Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Food Literacy Center

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sarah Modeste

KMP Strategies

Term: 2020 - 2021

Amber Stott

Food Literacy Center

Erin Alderson

Naturally Ella

Erik Johnson

Sacramento Area of Council of Governments

Stacey Kauffman

Entercom

Tawney Lambert

Sacramento City Unified School District

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/23/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data