The School Nutrition Association (SNA) and the American Culinary Federation (ACF) are leading a new coalition to spearhead efforts to expand the Chefs Move to Schools initiative, which forges partnerships between chefs and schools to educate children about healthy food choices.
As part of the effort, a new website, www.chefsmovetoschools.org, was created to serve as a one-stop shop for chefs and schools interested in working together. It will allow visitors to sign up for the program; access training, recipes and resources; and learn how chefs and schools across the country are partnering to create healthier school environments.
“We all have an important role to play in helping America’s students make healthier choices," says SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, who attended an event in Dallas on February 10th celebrating the second anniversary of the Let’s Move! initiative where the new Chefs Move to Schools coalition was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama. "School Nutrition Association is proud to be partnering with the Chefs Move to Schools coalition to support our members’ ongoing efforts to promote healthy school environments,” DiPasquale added.
The Let's Move anniversary event was held in Dallas ISD, where SNA Past President Dora Rivas runs the school meal programs. The First Lady recognized the district for earning the most Gold award winning schools in the HealthierUS School Challenge, and working with chefs to make healthy changes to school menus and offer cooking classes for students and families.
“Chefs Move to Schools has been a huge success with thousands of chefs teaming up with schools to prepare healthier meals and teach students about healthy eating, and now we’re excited to take this program to the next level,” Obama said. “ChefsMoveToSchools.org will make it even easier for chefs to connect with schools and share ideas with each other. So I’m counting on chefs and schools across our country to go to the website, sign up, and start cooking!”
The Chefs Move to Schools program began in June 2010 as part of Let’s Move. Through the program, chefs partner with schools in their communities and work with teachers, parents and school nutrition professionals to help educate kids about food and nutrition.
Approximately 3,400 chefs and 3,350 schools across the nation have signed up for the program to date. Together, chefs and schools have developed gardens, introduced salad bars to cafeterias, created healthier school meal recipes and hosted educational demonstrations.
The new Chefs Move to Schools coalition will try to build on this success. In addition to SNA and ACF, coalition organizations include Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs, The Culinary Trust, Harvard School of Public Health, International Corporate Chefs Association, SupermarketGuru/The Lempert Report, National Food Service Management Institute, Partnership for a Healthier America, Share Our Strength and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.