The other day I went to a board meeting for the Chef Ann Foundation. Ann Cooper was someone I worked with when I was executive director of the Chez Panisse Foundation (now the Edible Schoolyard Project). She’s a self-described renegade lunch lady who helped overhaul the Berkeley Unified School District’s food services when I worked with the Edible Schoolyard. I wrote about the importance of this issue for me a few months ago. Chef Ann had a vision back then that we could actually transform America’s lunchrooms, not just Berkeley’s. While we haven’t gotten there yet, she has invested in putting the tools out there to help get us on our way!
I got a chance to preview the latest version of their website this past week. It features recipes for school food service directors with the option to automatically change the quantity, while still complying with USDA requirements and making the food delicious! But there are also resources for parents. I meet so many parents who want to do something about their school’s food but don’t know how. The website includes a wide array of resources for parents and advice on how to get started
Parents play a critical role in schools. My son goes to a very active charter school that would not be able to function without the support of parents. Shouldn’t parents know just as much about how their children will be fed as they do the curriculum? I’m hoping Chef Ann’s website can help galvanize more than a few parents to take up the cause!