Good Food Life: Angela Hojnacki
What is your role at FoodCorps?
AH: I am the Michigan Fellow, which is a state coordinator for the FoodCorps Program. I work directly with the FoodCorps national office and our Host Site – MSU Extension Community Food Systems Work Group - to implement the program throughout the state. I provide direct support to our 10 service members in Detroit, Flint, Traverse City, and Sault Ste. Marie.
How does FoodCorps work towards the goals of the Good Food Charter?
AH: FoodCorps places AmeriCorps services members in local organizations to connect kids to real, healthy food. Our service members incorporate food and agriculture into K-12 classrooms, take students into the garden, do taste tests with students, and some of them serve directly with food service providers to increase local food in school lunches.
What do you find most exciting or inspiring about what you’re doing?
AH: After serving two years at the local level with the Wayne State Center for School Health, I love being able to see the bigger impact that our service has when we all work together. I enjoy working with service members to improve their experience, while supporting them to provide impactful lessons with their students.
What opportunities do you see for moving towards the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter and where do you see those leading in the next five to ten years?
AH: Throughout my service, I’ve seen an increasing amount of resources and grant opportunities for school gardens and farm to school programs. There are a plethora of garden-enhanced nutrition education curricula available, and I’ve seen a lot of excitement and support for school gardens and getting local food in schools. It is my hope to see more garden educators in schools across Detroit and the state who can help integrate nutrition and garden skills across subjects in all grades.
What is one thing you’ve learned through your experience with working towards the goals of the Good Food Charter that you’d like to share with others?
AH: Gardens are an incredible learning environment for students. Through the hands-on education that a garden can facilitate, students can learn not only where their food comes from and what a healthy diet is, but about the science of how plants grow, ecosystems in the garden, and even how to work together and think critically to solve problems.