Agriculture + Environment

County says September is Food Literacy Month

September will be declared Food Literacy Month in Yolo County, thanks to action taken last week by the Board of Supervisors. A Food Literacy Fair is planned Sept. 14 at the Woodland Farmers Market.

“I’m thrilled to help bring Food Literacy Month to Yolo County,” said Supervisor Jim Provenza of Davis. “It’s hard to believe that 25 percent of us don’t consume the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, yet Yolo County is a leading agricultural producer. With increased awareness, we can increase local produce consumption and combat childhood obesity. It’s a win-win.”

The Food Literacy Fair will run from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 14 and feature cooking demonstrations, live music and baby farm animals.

“One of the single most important ways in which we can promote health and well-being for all residents is to increase food literacy,” said Supervisor Don Saylor of Davis. “This is a high priority in Yolo County and there is a cascading calendar of events in September planned to give everyone fun, informative, interactive ways to participate and to gain greater understanding of our food system, food access and food literacy.”

Last year, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, authored ACR-161, a resolution sponsored by the California Food Literacy Center, to declare September Food Literacy Month in California and to raise awareness about food literacy on the state level.

This year’s Food Literacy Month will include a kids’ recipe contest, Food Literacy Fairs in Woodland and Sacramento, Veggie of the Year contest, restaurant donation campaign across the region, an online fundraiser for California Food Literacy Center and several events in partnership with Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Week. For more information, visit www.californiafoodliteracy.org.

“The solution to childhood obesity is growing in our back yard: fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Amber Stott, founding executive director of the California Food Literacy Center. “Food Literacy Month provides a fun, hands-on opportunity for kids and families to increase their knowledge about healthy, fresh and tasty food.”

The California Food Literacy Center was established in July 2011 to educate and inspire low-income children to eat healthy food. Students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read nutrition labels, basic cooking skills and environmental impacts of their food choices.

The nonprofit also runs the Food Literacy Academy, which trains community members as food literacy teachers. To date, the nonprofit has 60 active volunteers and serves 2,400 kids annually.

After just three months of food literacy education, 70 percent of students request the foods they have tasted in class, including broccoli, celery and oranges, a news release said. Ninety-two percent of kindergarten and first-grade students say healthy food tastes good, and 88 percent of children understand how to read a nutrition label.

Special to The Enterprise

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