Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Brings Renegade Lunch Lady, Ann Cooper

Children's nutrition advocate Chef Ann Cooper, widely known as the “Renegade Lunch Lady” and the author of "Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children," will be the featured guest at the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Expo with the Albert Einstein Academies, a South Park Charter School here in San Diego. The two-day event begins Thursday, Feb. 18, with a press conference at Whole Foods in Hillcrest, followed by a community lecture at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.

Last August, Whole Foods partnered with Chef Ann to create the “School Lunch Revolution” campaign, which raised more than $600,000 to fund thelunchbox.org, a collection of free online tools for healthier lunches available to all schools. The campaign included a national video contest for PTO/PTA organizations working to transform meals in their school cafeterias.  As the winner of the “Lunch Room Makeover” contest, the Albert Einstein Academies will receive the upcoming visit from Chef Ann, as well as expert consultation about how to improve the school’s lunch program.

The Expo will raise awareness to improve school lunch programs. Whole Foods Market, Slow Food Urban San Diego, and San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) representatives, along with  local vendors and chefs from Alchemy restaurant, will participate in the Healthy Meals/Healthy Kids Expo.

Here's what's on the agenda:

Thursday, Feb. 18
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Whole Foods Market Hillcrest
Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Press Conference

Chef Ann, local and state politicians, as well as representatives from SDUSD and Whole Foods Market, will discuss ways to improve the current school lunch program and will launch a call to action campaign to ask Congress to increase the USDA lunch allocation via the Child Nutrition Act. Whole Foods Market will provide a Chef Ann-inspired “healthy school lunch” menu following the press conference. 

6– 8 p.m.
Balboa Park Natural History Museum
Chef Ann Cooper is on a mission to ensure that every child in America receives healthy, delicious food every day in school This lecture, co-presented by Slow Food Urban San Diego, Whole Foods Market and the San Diego Natural History Museum, will be held at the museum; there will also be a pre-lecture reception with local food artisans and community food groups.  Advance registration is recommended. Tickets available for $5 online at www.sdnhm.org or call 619-255-0203.

Friday, Feb. 19
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Albert Einstein Academies
Local chefs, including Alchemy Executive Chef Ricardo Heredia, will create tasty and affordable school meals that meet school district guidelines and ingredient requirements. Chef Ann will visit classrooms at the school to discuss healthy eating.

3 – 3:45 p.m.
Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Expo (open to the public)
Albert Einstein Academies

Chef Ann hosts an open forum to discuss the goals of the School Lunch Revolution.
Location TBD.

3:45 – 4:30p.m.
Slow Food Time for Lunch: USDA Petition Signing; Kids Letter Writing Campaign
 (open to the public)
Albert Einstein Academies

Alchemy restaurant, with student chefs, will provide samples as local vendors and Whole Foods Market, Slow Foods Urban San Diego, and SDUSD representatives, and community organizations, discuss the importance of improving school lunch programs.

4:30-5:30 p.m.
Social Hour with Chef Ann (open to the public)
Alchemy (located at 30th Street and Beech Street)

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