Expecting More from School Lunches

UPDATE: Andrea Iannazzi of the Cranston school committee has asked that I be appointed to the school’s wellness committee, so we will definitely be talking about hosting a screening of “Two Angry Moms,” among other issues. Be sure to contact me with your wellness concerns for kids in Cranston.

ORIGINAL POST

I recently discovered that I want to be part of the movement to improve food quality in schools. What brought me to this discovery was learning about a new film and movement called Two Angry Moms, founded by dentist-turned-nutritionist Dr. Susan Rubin and filmmaker/mom Amy Kalafa. The film was recently screened at New Commons in Providence (click here to see their blog post about it), and was featured on Good Morning America a little while back. Here is the clip from that show:

Some fun food in schools is appropriate — having ice cream for sale occasionally, or parties with special treats. But to have fried foods and canned foods and packaged, processed, preserved foods be the mainstay of our childrens’ diets in schools, is extremely unhealthy. Today, we are facing an unprecedented decline in children’s health, with skyrocketing rates of obesity, type II diabetes, asthma, and a whole range of psychiatric conditions. In addition, increasing rates of colon cancer and other cancers may be linked partially to a diet low in nutrients and high in processed foods laden with fat, sugar, salt, and chemicals.

Today, we have to do what we can to give our children healthy food alternatives. I think that our schools could do better, especially with bringing in fresh whole food as much as possible, and getting rid of the blatant junk that is crowding out real food.

Rhode Island is already participating in the wave of change to improve school food quality by getting rid of soda and junk food in vending machines. To learn more about what we can do to improve our food quality, I am going to ask the Cranston School Committee to consider hosting a screening of the film, “Two Angry Moms.” This is a very low-cost way to add incredible value to our school district’s Title 16-mandated Wellness Committee, and to help parents and school professionals strategize on how we can improve our food quality.

My hope is that we can work with local food distributors to bring in more fresh fruits and vegetables to the Cranston schools. Right now as I look at my daughter’s lunch menu for the month of March, there are only two days when fresh fruit is offered as part of the meal. A good goal might be trying to try to double or triple that number of times that fresh fruit or vegetables are available with school lunch.

4 thoughts on “Expecting More from School Lunches

  1. Hi Kiersten,
    Thanks for bringing this up. I wanted to let you know that there is an awesome food service director for the Cranston School System that you need to contact: Mike Marrocco, Food Service Director, Cranston Public Schools who recently spoke at the Local Food Forum on Feb. 5 has made Cranston a farm-to-school leader by using personal relationships and creative ideas to cut through red tape to get fresh foods to students, often a challenge given picky tastes and the September to June school calendar
    So there are a lot of folks working to make this happen. Do check out Farm Fresh RI and the Food Project up in Massachusetts which works with kids to develop personal and social change through sustainable agriculture.

  2. Thanks, Michelle. I have heard good things about Mike Marrocco as well. Good news — Andrea Iannazzi of the school committee has asked that I be appointed to the Wellness committee for the schools.

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