I am a bit foggy this morning due to a symphony of spring thunderstorms that passed through last night. Thunderstorms, of the non-severe variety, actually appeal to me. G disagrees, and since he was awake last night, so was this tired mama.
But I felt like I just had to get up and write a follow-up post to last night's "Important and Possible: A Look at Healthy School Lunches" meeting at our local high school.
First off, Laurel, the high school senior who hosted the evening, once again impressed me with her poise and knowledge. Laurel, I'm not sure if I could have done what you did when I was a teen. You have a bright future!
After Laurel presented her research, Chuck Dilbone, from Granville local schools shared his school system's success in switching from a pretty typical school lunch program to a school food system that had three goals:
1. Serve Nutritious Foods: No Processed Foods, GMOs, HFCS or Preservatives...Organic when possible.
2. Cook Fresh.
3. Buy Local (40% of all foods bought locally is their current goal). They buy their bread from a local baker, potatoes from a local Amish farmer and apples from Lynd's farm. They actively pursue relationships with local farmers.
Granville has effectively made these changes, more students are buying school lunches and the program is profitable after only two years.
In short, change *is* possible, but as Chuck shared, you have to have a "passionate advocate" within the schools to lead the charge.
At last night's meeting, there were parents, a School Board Member, food services workers and our own school's Director of Business Services, which oversees the school lunch program. It was a honest, and sometimes lively exchange of ideas and thoughts on our current school food program.
It seems as if everyone shared the goal of feeding kids healthy foods. But how to get there...well, different folks have different ideas. I walked away from the meeting feeling encouraged, but also questioning what will be the next best step.
And since I am still a little foggy this morning, I am not quite sure of the answer to this question yet, but I do know with the enthusiasm I saw last night, I woke up feeling very hopeful.
Life is sweet,