Public school lunch is comfort food at its best–sloppy joes, tater tots, pizza and ice cream. Today’s schoolchildren, however, can kiss such tasty, but extremely unhealthy, dishes goodbye. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign recently introduced “Chefs Move to Schools” as part of the campaign’s efforts to fight the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic. The program encourages chefs to adopt a local school and work with administrators and teachers to educate students about making healthier eating choices, as well as to develop nutritious cafeteria menus.
Run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Chefs Move to Schools” will bring healthy foods into America’s public schools, with the aim of moving away from processed foods. As health concerns resulting from obesity rise, in addition to growing publicity surrounding Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution USA, Americans’ unhealthy eating habits are under scrutiny. With more than 30 million children in the National School Lunch Program, programs such as “Chefs Move to Schools” are more necessary than ever in battling the epidemic by enabling schoolchildren to make informed and healthy decisions.
One thousand chefs and 500 schools have already signed up for the program. The program is not without is own share of star power. Chef Bill Telepan of Telepan in NYC is helping to plan the program and Kelly Liken of Top Chef: DC has already adopted a school. Celebrity chef Rachael Ray, who fights against childhood obesity through her organization Yum-o!, also supports the program.