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School Lunches Kids Line Up For

Cheese Max Stick, Rice Crispy Treats, and Race Care Nuggest. What’s on your child’s school lunch menu? We got the real story about school lunches and what some courageous women, (including renegade lunch lady, Chef Ann Cooper) are doing to change the food our kids eat?

Real Women, Real Food, Real Solutions. 

Cheese Max Sticks, Rice Krispy Treats and French Fries.

You might be surprised to find what is in your child’s school lunch. 

School lunch is back on the U.S. policy menu for the first time in decades, thanks to President Barack Obama’s drive to make school food more nutritious and healthy. 

We capture the stories of renegade lunch lady, Ann Cooper who is cooking school lunches that kids actually line up for, Erika Lesser, Executive Director of Slow Food USA who on Labor Day, organized a Nationwide Eat-In with hundred of cities all across the country hosting their own Eat-In.

Joining us in the conversation also is Kathleen O’Dea chair of Slow Food Nevada County and Kaili Sanchez board member of Slow Food Lake Tahoe and Director in Truckee, CA of Project MANA. And two local Nevada City moms, Tania Carlone and Aimee Retzler, who are taking food into their own hands.

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Chef Ann Cooper

Chef Ann Cooper is a renegade lunch lady. She works to transform cafeterias into culinary classrooms for students — one school lunch at a time.

At The Ross School in East Hampton, NY, Chef Ann served as the executive chef and director of wellness and nutrition, developing an integrated school lunch curriculum centered on regional, organic, seasonal and sustainable meals.

The implementation of her pilot wellness program proved successful, and Chef Ann was invited to work with schools across the country. She has transformed public school cafeterias in New York City, Harlem and Bridgehampton, NY, and now in Berkeley, CA, to teach more students why good food choices matter by putting innovative strategies to work and providing fresh, organic lunches to all students. 

Chef Ann’s newest book, “Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children” (Harper Collins, Sept. 2006), is overflowing with strategies for parents and school administrators to become engaged with issues around school food – from public policy to corporate interest.

Chef Ann offers consulting services for school administrators, revamping their school lunch programs and offering nutrition and food choice education to students. She works with schools to incorporate integrated school lunch curriculums that not only promote nutrition and food education, but serve healthful foods and increase the availability of healthy food and nutrition choices for kids and teens.

www.chefann.com and www.thelunchbox.org

Erika Lesser

Erika Lesser is the Executive Director of Slow Food USA, a nonprofit organization with over 18,000 members and 200 chapters nationwide. She has worked for Slow Food USA since its founding in 2000, and also spent a year working at Slow Food’s international headquarters in Italy for the University of Gastronomic Sciences, before returning to New York in 2004 to take on her current position. A native of Boston, Erika graduated from Brown University with a BA in Italian Studies and Art History, and worked in the food and nonprofit sectors while earning an MA in Food Studies from New York University. Erika also serves on the boards of the Community Food Security Coalition and Slow Food International.

The Top Five Things You Can Do to Ensure Healthier Lunches for Children

Get Involved and Do Your Part

1. Support the Child Nutrition Act and Sign the petition: Click here to go to petition.
2. Review your child’s school wellness policy and make sure their school is following it.
3. Share the site www.thelunchbox.org with your child’s school administrators.
4. Turn off the TV and eat together as a family.
5. Encourage or implement a garden at your child’s school. If they don’t go for it, plant your own garden!

About Mark Burgess

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