01/06/2012 01:17 pm ET

FoodCorps Volunteers Teach Healthy Eating To At-Risk Young Kids (VIDEO)

More than 17 percent of all children between the ages of two and 19 are clinically obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- a rate that has tripled in the past 30 years. But a group of recent college graduates who are part of the first class of FoodCorps volunteers is working to change that by providing nutritional education to schoolchildren as young as five.

According to FoodCorps co-founder Curt Ellis, 31 million American children get more than half their daily calories from food at school and, he says, most of the breakfasts and lunches served at school cafeterias have very little nutritional value.

Their classes on nutrition, gardening and food awareness may be more important now than ever: In November, Congress blocked legislation to improve the National School Lunch Program's dietary requirements.