What’s wrong with our food system when the U.S. Department of Defense runs the fruits and vegetables procurement process for the public school systems? Are our wars affecting our kids in more ways than one? Defense budgets for school food was a surprising take-away from watching LUNCH a film by Avis Richards. Suddenly bidding wars on school lunch become more symbolic: French fries, hot dogs and sugared milk are food bombs on our kids’ trays, leading to high levels of diabetes and obesity and a lower life expectancy for our children. Despite these bidding wars, one of our children’s main meals is underfunded. Food is coming from far away and costing more than local food solutions. What school districts don’t realize is the huge buying power they have. This influence cannot be underestimated in changing school lunch.
In addition to policy, food is becoming essential to curriculum. One teacher is using food as a vehicle to teach multiple subjects from math and science to English and Spanish. School gardens are focused on in this film as a fun learning source. In making their own food, kids are eating better too! The filmmakers have taken the benefits of what they learned about gardening at schools to creating a foundation and mounting a campaign for placing growing units in classrooms.
With schools in the process of removing kitchens, healthy meals not happy meals are a continuing battle in our communities. How to help? Parent participation is key. We have a responsibility to change the way we feed our children. Change is possible. What are you doing to promote change in your school lunchroom? Watch LUNCH and find out more at www.lunchthefilm.com
Watch for Dylan’s Lunchbox episodes this summer. 15-year old food critic visits New York’s local, sustainable, and organic restaurants. Check back for future video of our interview with Avis and her son, Dylan.
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