Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion


Emily Koller’s “FoodCorps” Service at CNAP is a Northstate First

The Center for Nutrition & Activity Promotion (CNAP) at CSU, Chico welcomes FoodCorps member Emily Koller, who will spend her service year teaching kids about “real food” and where it comes from, helping with school garden projects, and improving healthy food access locally.

FoodCorps is an independent program of AmeriCorps, the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service that engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country.

Koller is one of only 12 FoodCorps members serving in California this year—the program’s first year in California—and the very first placed in far Northern California. She will be working on her community service projects with CNAP this year, primarily sharing garden-based lessons with K-12 students.

“I’ve always been interested in health, nutrition, and growing food,” said Koller, who started vegetable gardening in the backyard with her parents as a young child. “With my background in social work, I’m particularly interested in ‘food justice,’ which to me means connecting all kids with healthy, nutritious food.”

Koller completed her undergraduate studies in psychology and sociology at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She completed her Master’s of Social Work at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, this past May.

Emily Koller has broad food-growing and food education experience. She has worked with at-risk children at an urban YWCA, which taught her that children in big cities don’t always understand where their food comes from—and why fresh fruit and vegetables are healthy while processed food may not be.

“When a six-year-old asked me what a strawberry was, I realized that we are raising this generation without basic knowledge of what real food is, and often without an ability to access healthy food in their daily lives.”

Koller also worked in Japan, teaching nutrition to high schools students while observing traditional rice growing in her small mountain community, and participated in Worldwide Opportunities in Organic Farming (WWOOF) in Queensland, Australia.

For more information about FoodCorp please contact Emily @

*Caption for photo: On Emily Koller’s first day in Chico she wore CNAP’s famous banana suit to introduced herself to Chico