In honor of our Food Literacy Center’s 10th anniversary, we at SacFoodies want to share just a slice of the impact they’ve made in the Sacramento area.
Amber Stott began Food Literacy Center during the 2011 Recession. Her mission was to inspire kids to eat their vegetables – specifically elementary students in low-income neighborhoods – through nutrition, gardening, and active play. All of this was done to improve health, the environment, and the economy.
The California State Legislature had declared September as Food Literacy Month in 2012, and in 2013, The Food Literacy Center was launched. The Food Literacy Center was on a mission to train community members as “Food Genius” instructors to help children conceptualize and practice food literacy.
In late 2020, Amber launched the Raising Kale Podcast, where she discusses honest food. “If eating your vegetables can make you healthier, listening to Raising Kale will make you smarter–without any snooty side effects.”
In its 10th year, the nonprofit has served 11,909 students compared to the 120 in its first. What started with Amber Stott and an intern has now turned into 125 Food Geniuses trained to educate children about the importance of eating their veggies.
Within this past year, Food Literacy Center established a cooking school that has been six years in the making. Food Literacy Center also received a Farm to School grant through the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Amber has been advocating for state-level funding since 2017, and this first of its kind grant was awarded to FLC and SCUSD’s Nutrition Services Department, receiving $367,000.
Young Change Makers
The Food Literacy Center has made such an impact in the Sacramento community and has produced young changemakers across the city. On the 10th anniversary, Amber was reunited with Syrai, one of her first FLC students.
10 years ago, Syrai was a student at Capitol Heights Academy elementary school in Oak Park, Sacramento. She was one of the first students to participate in FLC, and Amber was her instructor.
Syrai had her first persimmon in her food literacy class. She later went to the grocery store with her parents on the hunt for the fruit she fell in love with earlier that day. But Syrai lived in a food desert, and the only store in her neighborhood didn’t have what she was looking for.
Syrai is 18 years old now and finished her first year of college at UC Santa Cruz. She was inspired by her childhood filled with healthy, fresh food and wants to find a solution to food deserts.
Celebrate wit FLC!
Want to celebrate FLC’s 10th anniversary? Donate!
“Funding goes directly to programs for children. We reach 100+ students each week! Programs include: afterschool food literacy classes, take-home STEM Recipe Kits, weekly online cooking demos, and virtual cooking classes. In a community where 40% of our students face childhood obesity, food insecurity, and other diet-related diseases, it’s critical that we teach them to build healthy habits that will stick with them for life.”
Do you want to get involved with Food Literacy Center? Check out their opportunities here, and help kids get inspired to eat their veggies!
To learn more about The Food Literacy Center, check out their website.