(Update: Adding video, comments from Redmond School District, FoodCorps)
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Redmond School District is promoting healthy eating by expanding the program it began at one elementary school, partnering with a nationwide program called FoodCorps.
FoodCorps currently has service members in only three Oregon school districts: Portland, Umatilla and MA Lynch Elementary in Redmond, where it involves a partnership with The Environmental Center in Bend and the OSU-Extension Service.
FoodCorps' mission is to partner with schools and communities to nourish kids health, education and a sense of belonging. With FoodCorps, students are served fruits and vegetables during lunch. They also have access to a school garden and outdoor education.
"They partnered through The Environmental Center to bring on a food education service member for this school, Lynch Elementary for the last two years, and then we expanded that partnership to include a school nutrition service member for this year," Lance McMurphy of the Redmond School District's Nutrition Services said Thursday.
The new school nutrition service member will serve all the schools in the Redmond district, including Redmond Proficiency Academy.
FoodCorps Service Member Katherine Rains said, "The lessons that we do in the classroom, in the garden really connect everything that we're serving here in the cafeteria. So excited to see them get excited about fresh fruits and vegetables. Even if they don't love it, they're still always willing to try here at Lynch."
During the 2021 -22 school year, FoodCorps reached more than 100,000 students in 254 schools around the country.
FoodCorps Oregon Impact and Partnership Lead Aaron Poplack said, "What are those foods that students see at home? How can every child see themselves on their school lunch tray and really be working district-wide to help take some of the work they've done at lunch and say, 'What would it look like if every child in the Redmond School District got to experience this?'"
FoodCorps' goal is by 2030 that "every child has access to food education and nourishing food in school."