New Brunswick, New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ Elijah's Promise

: 57,073
Project focus: Access to foods that support healthy eating patterns


  • Engage and educate high school students to civically engage with their school food system
  • Implement institutional-level changes that improve the school food system and food education in students’ school districts

Partners and Approach
Elijah’s Promise, with New Brunswick Public Schools, and FoodCorps, took a holistic approach and launched the Your Food, Your Choice Internship program. The program was for New Brunswick High School students to learn more about the state of school food within their community and promote new models of student feedback and choice. It also trained students in justice-based advocacy and civic action and enabled them to become active participants in efforts to improve the school district’s food system. 

Successes (as of September 2022) 
Students conducted a school food assessment with students and their parents, and leveraged the results to advocate for the school to hire a dedicated chef to introduce a number of new lunch menu items designed to be more culturally significant to the student body. The students also hosted a community event to raise awareness around school food and nutrition. In late May 2022, the internship students held their end-of-the-year event to showcase their learning and their passions around school food over the previous two years in the program. In the time after the event, conversations with school administrators evolved to a new place where we were able to suggest the school district invest in hiring a FoodCorps service member who would be dedicated to administering the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. As a result, two New Brunswick schools are poised to begin participating in the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program during the 2022-23 school year and a second FoodCorps service member will serve in New Brunswick schools.

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