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This fall, the first 50 FoodCorps service members fanned out to take their posts in locations across the nation. The program — which places young leaders in limited-resource communities for a year to deliver nutrition education, build and tend school gardens, and work on bringing local food into public school cafeterias — is up against formidable odds.

In the past 30 years the percentage of overweight children has tripled and one in four young adults are not healthy enough to be eligible for military service. These statistics are only a portion of a larger more complicated picture, one where children in Arizona have a 22 percent chance of being obese, and where the average elementary school student receives just less than 3.5 hours of nutrition education per year.

Under the guidance of Debra Eschmeyer, formerly of the National Farm to School Network, King Corn’s director Curt Ellis, and Cecily Upton, formerly of Slow Food USA, the first FoodCorps participants are already making changes in their communities. We asked three of them about their lives, their work and the road ahead.