School Lunch

 "There’s more to school lunch than greasy chicken nuggets and tasteless peas," remarks author Susan Levine.

Nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. But schools, with the support of federal programs, have the opportunity to provide a healthy foundation to our younger generations, especially those at risk of being one of these statistics.

Currently all of the federal programs that are providing nutritional guidance and funding for our schools are under review in the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act.

With the help of Chef Ann Cooper, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Edible Schoolyard, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and more, we explore the past, present and future of the school lunch.

Here are 8 things you should be asking about our school lunch programs:

1. What are some of the initial steps that need to be made to bring healthy food to schools’ lunchroom?

2. What role does the National School Lunch Program play?

3. What is our nation’s history with the National School Lunch Program? 

4. How can I engage, as a parent, to help build a healthier lunchroom in my community?

5. What can I do as a teacher to bring healthy food into the cafeteria?

6. What are some proactive ways to bring awareness to my community?

7.  How can chefs support schools who aim to provide healthy meals to their students?

8. How can we be sure to maintain the progress that has already been made?

This week's terms

School Meals

Schools have the unique opportunity to provide nutrient-rich meals to the younger generations who are facing high rates of obesity and other diet-related illnesses.

Child Nutrition and WIC Act

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act authorizes all of the federal school meal and child nutrition programs, which include the School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs and WIC. - Chef Ann Cooper

Food Literacy

Food literacy entails understanding the systems through which food progresses from soil to table and back to soil: how food is grown, processed, transported, acquired, prepared, and consumed, and how waste is managed. It includes recognizing the impacts on individuals, communities, and the natural world of our food-related decisions and actions. It nurtures appreciation of the intricate webs of relationship that bind all of life and link food, culture, health, and the environment. Food literacy promotes the knowledge, values, and skills that enable effective action on behalf of healthy people and resilient communities in harmony with nature. - Zenobia Barlow

Farm to School

Connecting schools to farms to introduce students to fresh, nutritious, and high quality food while simultaneously supporting local farmers.

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