As parents and taxpayers, we pay property taxes to fund the school system. Much of the funding goes to high paid administrators at the Central Office, too much. Despite an overly bloated number of well paid administrators, we do not have "best in class" programs in our schools. Superintendent Crawford Lewis decided to make up a new "Executive Director of Corporate Wellness" position at a high salary and assign it to a former principal with no background in public health. That's great for the new executive director, but it does nothing for students. (Not to mention, we already had a very highly qualified Director of Wellness in the same department, who does have advanced degrees in public health).
School lunch and nutrition is an area where DCSS has to improve. School systems across the country have realized that fresh, healthy food makes a difference for student achievement and student behavior. The CDC and the Emory School of Public Health are right here in our own county, yet there is no real relationship between them and the public school system.
Demand change of your Board of Education members, and demand that administrators perform and achieve at a higher level, without always asking for higher budgets. It's time for a change and school lunch and nutrition is one of the places to start!
Better School Food
We are Better School Food and we're asking to you to join us. Consider this:
- Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the U.S. The major risk factors for these diseases are often established in childhood.
- One quarter of children ages 5 to 10 years show early warning signs for heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes can no longer be called "adult onset" because of rising rates in children.
- Obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades. One in seven young people are obese, and one in three are overweight.
- From 1979 to 1999, annual hospital costs for treating obesity-related illnesses in children rose threefold (from $35 million to $127 million).
But don't just think of statistics. Think of the child you know who represents those numbers. Children's health is a public health issue and we need to act now.
Better school food must be provided to every school-age child. Whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables are necessary to build and sustain healthy bodies and brains, which support strong physical and mental health. Unhealthy ingredients must be permanently removed from our schools and the daily diets of our children in order to reverse the damage already done. The resources spent treating chronic diseases strain on our health care system. We can pay now, or pay later.
The food "is quite different than before," said Olson, who had tasted Revolution Foods' meals during summer school. "None of the vegetables are frozen, and there's a wider variety of what they get to eat. Before, you could visibly see the grease on the entrees; now you don't."
Founders Kristin Richmond and Kirsten Tobey conceived Revolution Foods when they were students at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. In spring 2006, the pair launched their first pilot program at an Oakland, Calif., school. By year's end, the new company was serving 10 schools. "We heard all the reasons why it couldn't be done: Kids won't eat healthy food. It's too expensive," said Richmond, 34. "But it was clear demand was there."
“The principal, Laura Mastrogiovanni, readily admits that food wasn’t on her radar when she took over in 2005. The cafeteria keeps a separate budget and cooks don’t report to her. But when Mrs. Barlatier arrived in 2007 and started to improve the food, it didn’t take long to see that the children not only ate more of it but seemed happier at lunch.
‘They needed a little flair in their food,” Mrs. Mastrogiovanni said. “It’s good for their brains."
Also on the subject - check out the trailer for the new documentary, "Food, Inc" -