Los Angeles

Helping Students Speak Out… About School Lunch

Taking the opportunity presented by the broadcast of Season 2 of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and the arrival of a new superintendent, John Deasy, Slow Food Los Angeles has joined with several Los Angeles organizations to support improvements to the LAUSD’s school breakfast and lunch programs and to the District’s overall approach to food: in its lunchrooms, in its classrooms, in its outdoor spaces, and in the halls of its headquarters.

As Emily Ventura noted in her recent Los Angeles Times op-ed, a holistic view of the food options presented by the LAUSD is badly needed. Unfortunately, financial constraints, a lack of support for change at the Board level, and the perception of public indifference have contributed to a status quo that puts the health of LAUSD students in jeopardy.

Further, the current breakfast and lunch programs do little to help children develop healthy eating habits. Rather than using the school food program as an opportunity to teach children healthy eating habits and more—where food comes from and how it is grown—the school food program has become another exercise in efficiency: How to fill children with calories and get them in and out of the lunchroom with the least amount of cost, fuss, or muss.

Representatives of the LAUSD have said that change requires public support. So in that spirit, beginning today, Slow Food Los Angeles will be calling on its members and friends to share their opinions with Dr. Deasy, members of the LAUSD board, and their fellow citizens.

Step 1: Help us distribute a lesson plan to teachers as part of a coordinated effort to help students share their experiences with school food, and share those letters with Dr. Deasy and the School Board.

The lesson plan can be downloaded here. It can be used to lead students in writing short letters. Student letters should be mailed to:

Emily Ventura
USC Childhood Obesity Research Center
2250 Alcazar Street, CSC 200
Los Angeles, CA 90033

by April 18 for group delivery to LAUSD. Alternatively, contact emilyventura [at] gmail [dot] com to arrange for another pickup option.

Slow Food Los Angeles is pleased to join with USC’s Childhood Obesity Research Center, Food for Lunch, the Garden School Foundation, Kidding Around the Kitchen, and RootDownLA to distribute this lesson plan and letter request.