Affecting 1/3 of adults and 1/6 of children, obesity remains our nation's most daunting public health crisis. Milwaukee, like many other cities, suffers even higher rates particularly within its low-income and minority communities. A 2011 study found that 45.5% of Wisconsin African Americans, the majority of whom live in Milwaukee, were obese. This is the highest rate in the nation. Milwaukee Public Schools reported that 37% of their students were overweight—a rate double the national average. Many factors contribute, from a lack of cooking skills among single working parents to toxic food environments. The results have given us generations of people with an unhealthy connection to highly-processed foods and a lack of skills or experiences to break the cycle.
FoodRight was initiated in 2012 as a social enterprise dedicated solely to changing the way Milwaukee eats by building healthy connections to food. FoodRight aims to eliminate food insecurity and chronic diseases linked with poor diet starting with those most at risk—our children. Experiential lessons implemented in schools and organizations teach children, families and educators to cook and enjoy wholesome, low-cost, plant-based meals from around the world. Research-based and vetted, our curricula effect changes in habits and attitudes that last a lifetime while addressing academic standards. We serve Milwaukee’s central-city, developing a model to be nationally replicated.