Why Focus on School Food?

24 Jun

The school year is over or drawing to a close across the country, but school food in America remains a hot button issue. It should. While no single cause for childhood obesity or chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes can be statistically pinpointed, there is one common place where kids’ relationship with food can be addressed – in schools.  As most teachers will tell you, the summer isn’t idle time; it’s when the groundwork is laid for the next year.

Efforts are already underway to change the way schools address food. Michelle Obama is campaigning for healthier school food, and has put chefs in the White House garden and in the spotlight with her year-old Chefs Move to Schools initiative. Jamie Oliver is trying to affect change with his Food Revolution. Rachel Ray is designing meals for New York City’s public schools and partnering with the city in nutrition and garden education. All are good efforts; none really hit the bullseye. Celebrities bring attention to the issue, but this isn’t the Love Boat, cameos won’t cure the problem in a neat one-hour program.

Part of what we’re doing at The Future Cooks Initiative is gathering information about grassroots programs working in schools.  If you were in a school this year or set to enter one this fall, let us know what you’re doing.  Failures, challenges, and successes, we want to hear what’s going on.  So, shoot me a brief description and a link to a website or blog if you have one and let’s get this conversation going.

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