FoodCorps rep Adrienne helping kids in the garden

Welcome Adrienne, Our Newest FoodCorp Member

We’re very excited to announce we have another new face at The Environmental Center! Please help us welcome our newest FoodCorps Service Member, Adrienne Atkins! 

Adrienne started her service term at the beginning of August, and after a week of national training, jumped right into working with kids in the garden this past month. She will be serving at MA Lynch Elementary School in Redmond, where she will be collaborating with the OSU Extension Nutrition Education program to deepen our collective impact at the school. 

Adrienne will be working to connect kids to healthy food in school – in the garden, the classroom and the cafeteria. We’re excited to have her with us this next year!

We sat down with Adrienne to get to know her a little better, so here are some highlights from our chat! 

Q/A with Adrienne Atkins, FoodCorps Service Member  

Hi Adrienne! Welcome to the team. To get started, we’d all love to know what inspired you to get involved with FoodCorps.

FoodCorps aligns pretty perfectly with my interests and passions. I studied biology, nutrition, and public health in college, which made me realize the importance of health equity and food justice. The vision at FoodCorps is “… creating a future in which all our nation’s children––regardless of race, place, or class––know what healthy food is, care where it comes from, and eat it every day.” As soon as I saw this and researched more about the organization, I knew this was right up my alley. I was especially excited to find a FoodCorps position at The Environmental Center, so I could also incorporate sustainability into my service. I love working with kids, and it is an added bonus that FoodCorps focuses on elementary schools!

With food playing such an important part of your work, we’re curious… got a favorite recipe or dish to cook (or order at a restaurant?)

As you might guess, I love food and I love to cook… It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite dish! I would have to say that Pad Thai is one of my favorite foods. I used to only eat Pad Thai in restaurants but recently decided to experiment with making it myself. I usually add lots of colorful veggies that you won’t usually find in traditional Pad Thai. It always turns out slightly different. Lately, I have gotten really invested in perfecting the sauce and actually measuring out the ingredients so that I can make it the same way twice when it goes well.

Pad Thai! YUM! So, word on the street is that you recently moved to Central Oregon.  What are you most looking forward to while living in the area?

I’m most excited about being around the mountains! I am from Virginia, and while the Blue Ridge mountains are very near and dear to my heart, they don’t host the same scale of outdoor activities that you can find in the Cascades. I love to climb and have already been to Smith Rock a few times. As it starts to cool off, I’m already looking forward to the snowboarding season! I haven’t been to Mt. Bachelor yet, but it’s safe to assume I will be spending all of my free time there in the winter.

What book(s) are you currently reading? Or a film(s) you’ve seen recently? Or a podcast(s)?

I’m currently reading ‘Becoming” by Michelle Obama, and it might be my new favorite book. I love hearing the story behind such an influential woman, and how she and Barack ended up as First Lady and President of the United States. It brings me so much perspective on the complicated turns in her life, especially considering she didn’t want to be involved in politics. Her background in non-profits and work in school nutrition also inspires me as I start my service with FoodCorps and look into my future career.

The podcast How to Save a Planet with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg has also become a personal favorite. I’ve spent a lot of time driving this past year, and this podcast has been a great way to fill the time on the road.

We’re all very excited to have Adrienne here! 

(Want to know more about our collaboration with FoodCorps? Click here)