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Food Literacy Month events announced

In honor of Food Literacy Month this September, the California Food Literacy Center will hold a series of events in Sacramento that promote healthy, sustainable eating, including the children’s Food Literacy Sandwich Contest, restaurant sandwich campaign, Food Literacy Fair and a launch party.

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

“We partnered with Assemblymember Dickinson to create Food Literacy Month so more California residents understand the positive impacts of healthy eating and how to make nutrition fun. Each event aims to inspire the community to create healthy meals while inviting local restaurants, community members and food producers to get involved,” said Amber Stott, California Food Literacy Center founder and executive director.

The Food Literacy Sandwich Contest for kids will kick off the month of events. From Sept. 2-8, youth in the community can create a healthy sandwich recipe and write about why it represents food literacy. Kids can submit their sandwich ideas in four different age categories at www.californiafoodliteracy.org. The top eight semi-finalists will be featured on the website, and the community will vote for the top recipe in each age category on the California Food Literacy Center’s Facebook page Sept. 17-21. The final winner will be selected on Sept. 29 by judges in a tasting contest.

Several Sacramento-area restaurants will feature a Food Literacy Sandwich on their menus September 2-8. Restaurants interested in participating can contact Amber Stott at amber@californiafoodliteracy.org.

Local residents also can attend the Food Literacy Fair at the Oak Park Farmers Market at 9 a.m. on Sept. 22. The event will include cooking demos, kids’ activities, live music and farm fresh produce stands. Assemblymember Dickinson will speak at the event. Food Literacy Month will close with California Food Literacy Center’s launch party at 1 p.m. on Sept. 29 at Mayahuel Restaurant, 1200 K Street. Registration details for the event will be available soon on www.californiafoodliteracy.org. The event will include refreshments, and the children’s sandwich contest winner will be selected.

Parents and teachers can download educational toolkits, including cooking and seed planting activities, at www.californiafoodliteracy.org.

The California Food Literacy Center was established in July 2011 to help kids improve their knowledge, attitude and behavior toward food through community food education. The organization empowers K-5 students to explore new foods, learn to cook healthy, sustainable snacks and make smart choices. Students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read nutrition labels, basic cooking skills and environmental impacts of their food choices. The California Food Literacy Center’s efforts are yielding positive changes in perceptions of healthy food among youth. Before the organization began its food literacy curriculum, 82 percent of K-1st graders at Capitol Heights Academy said that healthy snacks did not taste good. After one month of food literacy education, 92 percent of the kids replied yes when asked the same question. For more information about the California Food Literacy Center and how to get involved, visit www.californiafoodliteracy.org

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