FPS Food Corps Members Allyson (Ally) Mracheck and Sophia Gill.
FPS Welcomes Two FoodCorps Members
Fayetteville Public Schools Sustainability Office is excited to welcome and introduce two FoodCorps service members to the district for the 2012-2013 academic year.
FoodCorps is a nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. FoodCorps places these leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service where they conduct hands-on food education, build and tend school gardens, and facilitate getting high-quality local ingredients into school meals.
"In addition to providing a year of invaluable service to their communities, FoodCorps members are beginning their lifelong role as leaders in the fields of food, agriculture, public service, and public health," said FoodCorps Service Program Director Cecily Upton. "We expect FoodCorps alumni to be changemakers who work to improve the health of our children and our communities for a long time to come."
You can learn more about the national FoodCorps program here: http://foodcorps.org/
Please help us welcome these two service members to our community.
Allyson (Ally) Mrachek
Ally, a registered dietitian, was raised on a fruit farm in Washington State and has a Master's in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. She cares about community health on both local and global scales, actively volunteering and staying involved in organizations such as Seattle Works, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the World Affairs Council. She is a Master Composter, and has conducted research and proposal writing to fund a community kitchen in a food desert. She says, "Everyone deserves food knowledge and good nutrition, but in this country access is not equal. Wholesome food and good health make happy, healthy people and communities." Allyson is looking forward to a year of hands-on engagement, planting and growing food while cultivating young minds.
Allyson's term of service will be dedicated to expanding the Farm to School program throughout the district. She will work closely with Adam Simmons, FPS Child Nutrition Director, to develop menu items that incorporate local foods as well as herbs grown in school gardens; work with community partners to organize educational Farm to School lunches and events throughout the district; continue to develop and streamline a procurement procedure for purchasing from local farmers; develop nutritional educational materials to share with students, staff, teachers, and parents; and provide assistance to school gardens throughout the district.
Sophia's parents knew the importance of family meals in shaping a child's healthy development; as a result, she was eating well, with people she loved, from a young age. She went on to get a degree in public health from UC Berkeley, and has continued to focus on public health, as a public health associate at Berkeley Youth Alternatives SAFE haven, and a project assistant at the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health. Sophia is looking forward to her year of service as a way to match her professional passions with her creative ones. She sees this year with FoodCorps as, "...an opportunity to experience public health nutrition in action, participate in a rewarding collective mission, and make positive connections in a new and diverse community."
Sophia will be working primarily at Holt Middle School co-hosting an after school garden club and facilitating classroom integration to provide food, nutrition, and gardening education. She will help expand and tend the existing garden area and work closely with teachers to identify opportunities to utilize the garden space as a teaching tool for reinforcing classroom curriculum. Sophia will also work with cafeteria staff to identify best crops to grow in the garden for integration into the cafeteria and develop a program for highlighting the nutritional value of the selected crops. She will help create a sustainable, model garden program for the district that provides hands-on learning opportunities and highlights the benefits of local food production.