The Young Step Up

October 25, 2012 | By | Comments (2)

America’s Millennials have made food their cause. First, they’re just into it: 40% of people in their 20s are self-described foodies, according to one survey. Second, as a generation fired up about local and global issues, they care about where food comes from and making sure everyone has access to it.

Twenty-three-year-old Robyn Wardell, left, spent this year working with kids in Flint, Michigan, as part of the debut brigade of FoodCorps, an organization that sends young Americans into schools to promote healthy eating (and a charity Cooking Light supports). Flint, a city largely abandoned after the American automotive industry hit its decline, is reinventing itself with gardens and greenways in areas that once housed bustling factories. “Interestingly, it has left a lot of avenues for community-based food systems,” Wardell says.

During her time in Flint, she helped kids at Freeman Elementary School build a school garden. “The first couple of times we went into the garden, the students would put plastic shopping bags over their shoes so they wouldn’t get them dirty. But we had small victories each time, and it progressed to them being excited to come out and give a helping hand.”

In its first year, FoodCorps has reached more than 50,000 kids and inspired more than 1,800 local volunteers. More than a thousand people applied for the 80 positions available in year two. Cultivating similar ground are organizations like The Edible Schoolyard Project, Live Real, and Planting Justice.


  1. Gold a Good Investmen

    Nutrition plays an important role in our lives. Nurturing young kids in raising healthy foods will give us a brighter future.

    April 24, 2013 at 9:42 am
  2. Jeannie

    It is wonderful news to hear that children are getting involved in raising healthy foods and understanding more about them. Putting up gardens and greenways will be planting appreciation for fresh foods and hopefully carried through their whole life.

    I am putting together a kitchen cookware/bakeware site and want to steer more people towards healthy food choices myself. There is so much you can do with fresh food and it tastes so much better than items that were picked a week ago.

    My 6 year old niece is one who enjoys working in the garden and yard. I have a small greenhouse now, so plan on starting some early spring plants to be planted later and have her help me with it. Even if it is one child at a time learning better nutrition, it makes a difference.

    December 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm

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