On September 18, Food Literacy Center hosted a special groundbreaking event for their future cooking school—designed by HMC Architects—at Floyd Farms in Sacramento, California. Floyd Farms at Leataata Floyd Elementary will be home to a city-run community garden, Food Literacy Center’s cooking school and student gardens managed by the nonprofit’s program staff. The project will serve the 330 elementary school students enrolled at Leataata Floyd Elementary and their families, students throughout the Sacramento City Unified School District, and community members.

This ambitious and first-of-its-kind project is in partnership with the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD), the City of Sacramento, The Mill at Broadway, which neighbors the school campus, and HMC Architects. Food Literacy Center currently operates out of a small, rented house which hasn’t allowed for the extensive community involvement they desire for their programming.

“As a young nonprofit, we haven’t had a ‘center’ where the community can come to us and cook,” said Amber Stott, founder and executive director of Food Literacy Center. The nonprofit currently delivers its hands-on cooking and nutrition classes to students and schools for free. The new state-of-the-art, green facility will include and support:

  • Cooking School – Students will learn to cook healthy meals.
  • Prep Kitchen – A place for Food Literacy Center staff and volunteers to prep for after school programs across the school district, focused on Title 1 schools.
  • Training Space – Food Literacy Center staff will train future instructors of the curriculum and manage the day-to-day operations of the 2.5-acre project that will reach students daily.
  • Community Programs – Including family cooking classes, school field trips, and more.

“HMC is proud to provide discounted services for the design of the Floyd Farms cooking school, said HMC’s PreK-12 Practice Leader Brian Meyers. “It has been a privilege working with the Food Literacy Center, the Sacramento City Unified School District, and other community partners to bring this project to fruition.”

Established in 2011, Food Literacy Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) with the mission of inspiring kids to eat their vegetables. The organization provides after school programming to children in Sacramento City Unified School District schools that teach cooking and nutrition to improve health, economy, and the environment. The new zero net energy facility incorporates the latest technology with practical applications for kids, and will produce its own energy with solar panels, allowing the nonprofit to keep its operating costs low.

“I’m excited to see the Floyd Farms vision of bringing fresh produce to our local schools becoming a reality in Sacramento,” said Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). “This innovative model will increase children’s access to food literacy programs, which will build healthy eating habits that will benefit our students for years to come.”

Food Literacy Center celebrated the milestone occasion with a groundbreaking presented by Clover Sonoma. Food Literacy Center is also receiving multi-year support from Clover Sonoma, The Mill at Broadway, Setzer Foundation, Sun & Soil Juice Company, and Selland Family Restaurants. The project received additional support from Cobram Estates, FleishmanHillard, Confucius Institute at UC Davis, Visit Sacramento, and Stacey & Galvin Kauffman.