Michigan Fellow with FoodCorps, Traverse City, MI
December 2, 2013
What is your role with FoodCorps?
DM: As the Michigan Fellow, I am the team leader for an outstanding group of seven FoodCorps Service Members based in Michigan. With two years of FoodCorps service experience as a foundation and working with MSU Extension Educator, Terry McLean, my primary role is to provide technical and personal guidance to members to ensure successful service.
How does FoodCorps work toward the goals of the Good Food Charter?
DM: FoodCorps is a nationwide team of leaders who contribute a year of service to teaching students about where “real” food comes from, to help a new generation of young people to grow up healthy. Our state members partner with educators, food program staff, and community food producers to engage students in hands-on food learning and to provide innovative solutions towards giving all students access to Michigan fruits and vegetables at the peak of nutrition and flavor.
What do you find most exciting or inspiring about what you’re doing?
DM: Kids illuminate every week with “light bulb” moments when they make new connections to understanding and enjoying whole foods. How many people receive the kind of feedback that a kindergarten student gives them when she says "It was so good my taste buds went to taste town!"?
What opportunities do you see for moving toward the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter and where do you see those leading in the next five to ten years?
DM: As students grow food in school gardens, cook it themselves and meet farmers, they are reinforcing a positive relationship with whole foods that can last a lifetime. These students will be driving a long term demand for Michigan produce which will support the success of achieving the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter.
What is one thing you’ve learned through your experience that you’d like to share with others?
DM: There are amazing people working in schools who have the utmost care for our kids. By supporting them with a little teamwork and a sizeable serving of hands-on fun, we can make a difference in improving Michigan’s food (and health) future!