GFMA Welcomes Two FoodCorps Service Members

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The Georgia Farmers Market Association is excited to announce that it is hosting two FoodCorps service members this year, Hannah McTier and Deanna Perlman, who will be serving at two elementary schools in Walton County. FoodCorps is a national initiative that serves to connect kids to healthy food in school in order to create a future in which all children, regardless of their location, socioeconomic status, or race, know what healthy food is, care about where it comes from, and eat it every day. The reality is that  9 out of 10 children do not eat enough vegetables, 6 out of 10 children do not eat enough fruit, and 1 out of 3 children (and 1 out of 2 children of color) are on track to develop diabetes in their lifetime. Schools can help close the nutrition gap by creating healthy food environments and getting kids on a healthy path to success. FoodCorps partners with school communities to help create healthy food environments through hands-on learning, healthy meals, and a culture of health. FoodCorps service members support and empower the communities they serve in order to create a healthy food environment with staying power for future generations. FoodCorps does this work through service members like Hannah and Deanna.

Studies have shown that 75% of schools with FoodCorps service members were measurably healthier, and 6 out of 10 students had improved attitudes towards vegetables. Furthermore, students in FoodCorps schools who received hands-on lessons were eating three times the amount of fruits and vegetables than students who did not receive those lessons.

As the Georgia Farmers Market Association continues to grow and further its goal of increasing whole food access, it hopes that the partnership with FoodCorps will expand awareness, outreach, and educational opportunities to a new audience of young people. Schools and communities are showing an increased desire to incorporate farm-to-school lessons into their curriculum and nutrition programs. With the help of FoodCorps, GFMA would like to see these initiatives expand and thrive across the state, giving schools and communities the resources they need to impact and shape their local food system.

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Hannah McTier grew up on a farm in the small town of Washington, GA. Her dad raised cattle for a living and her mom grew and processed produce for their family to eat. As a young child, she could not wait to get off the farm and out of that small town, but after going to college, she realized how much agriculture really meant to her. Not only was farming a way of living, but it was a fundamental part of her being. Whether she was working outside all day or not, she knew she wanted to pursue a career rooted in agriculture where she could help make a difference in the lives of small-scale farmers, like her parents. After having this epiphany, Hannah stumbled upon FoodCorps and fell in love with their role in the farm to school movement. She considers herself lucky to be a FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member, serving through the Georgia Farmers Market Association to impact the local food and school systems of Walton County for the 2017-2018 school year.

Deanna Perlman comes to FoodCorps hoping to engage and inspire young people to get their hands dirty and tap into their own creative energy. She studied Family and Consumer Science Education in college to teach life skills that help people become more resourceful and renew their sense of self-worth and satisfaction. She spent the last five years working on small, organic farms to gain first hand experience with sustainable agricultural practices and local food systems. She is an avid fiber artist, dabbling in everything from spinning wool to dyeing yarn. Last but certainly not least, she is also the mother of a 1 year old son named Indigo who loves trucks and swimming at the pool.

For more information about The Georgia Farmers Market Association and FoodCorps, visit their websites: www.mygeorgiamarket.org and www.foodcorps.org. You can also contact Deanna or Hannah to learn more about their service in Walton County: [email protected] and [email protected].