When I was applying to colleges, Brown was on my list. My Dad, a pretty normal, fairly liberal guy disapproved; Amy Carter (daughter of former President Jimmy Carter) was a student there at the time, and was in the news frequently for her activism around various causes. He was afraid I’d go and end up doing the same thing. I ended up at Tufts, but quickly ditched the original plan of studying International Relations (my dad really wanted me to be a spy) in favor of studying urban policy, much to my dad’s initial chagrin. And while I wouldn’t call myself an activist, I did start a nonprofit right out of college that connected young professionals with volunteer opportunities.
I was very much on trend, as the late 80’s/early 90’s saw the birth of the current service craze, and the creation of such amazing programs like Teach For America, the Hands On Network, City Year and Americorps. Thanks to a seemingly endless pit of individuals willing to serve, corporate and private donations and government support, the national service movement continues to flourish.
Brilliantly, a group of people involved in the Farm to Table Movement have proposed FoodCorps as a new program under Americorps- where young adults can sign up for a yearlong term of public service in the school food world. FoodCorps members will create farm to school supply chains, expand nutrition education programs, and build and tend school food gardens. Definitely one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. So simple, yet so RIGHT ON. There is no question that if I was coming out of school and this was an option I would strongly consider it. They are currently in the planning stages, thanks to grants from Americorps and the WK Kellogg Foundation, and hopefully when that stage is over they’ll hit the ground running (or tilling as the case may be!).
Here is an interesting interview with Debra Eschmeyer, one of founders of Food Corps about her vision and what inspires her to do what she does. Enjoy.