Cafeteria Chronicles: Funding School Lunches

| 2/22/2010 1:38:51 PM

In February, Barack Obama signed a memorandum to establish a Task Force on Childhood Obesity, including the launch of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to address childhood obesity and nutrition. One day earlier, British Chef Jamie Oliver won the 2010 TED award, which will help him to launch a cross-industry initiative to fight obesity by educating families about food. This week we will be looking at childhood nutrition by highlighting books and articles that have passed through our library of late. –The Editors 

Cafeteria ChroniclesTo write a single sentence that explains just the school cafeteria side of the obesity debate is a challenge. Here's a shot: In America, we have a population of kids united by poor nutrition, but divided by economic strata--there are those who eat too much, and poorly; and those who eat too little, and poorly.

In her new book Free For All: Fixing school food in America, Sociologist Janet Poppendieck says the U.S. should eliminate the funding factor by providing free lunch for all kids, as a first step toward remedying the issues of malnutrition and obesity.

Poppendieck’s hefty analysis of subsidized school lunches in the U.S. is an important read. For a sampling, read Washington Monthly's review. In it, Michael O'Donnell writes:

2/26/2010 11:42:06 AM

Here's a link to a roundup of a few of the school lunch initiatives being pursued in MN. Two of them--the Farm to School program and former-Cosmos-chef Seth Bixby Daugherty's Real Food Initiatives--have some real potential, though they're dealing with some hardcore obstructionism from schools and the federal Child Nutrition/WIC Act.

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