Local Chef Volunteers For White House food Project
First Lady Michelle Obama recently commissioned an all volunteer project titled “Chefs Move To Schools” affording an opportunity for chefs around the country to adopt a local school to help solve the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. “Chefs Move to Schools” will pair chefs with schools in their communities to bring fun to fruits and vegetables, and teach kids about food, nutrition and cooking in an engaging way. The launch ceremony took place this past Friday, June 4 on the South Lawn of The White House.
Chef Shelley Nachum of Short on Thyme Personal Chef Service has joined the nationwide volunteer team spearheaded by Michelle Obama and along with 700 chefs representing 35 states, she visited the White House vegetable garden where an extensive variety of vegetables are being grown. Chef Nachum, who will soon be working with students, school food service employees, administrators and teachers at a local school, plans to deliver the message that healthful food which tastes good can be taught in an appealing and fun way – from the cafeteria to the classroom.
“We are going to need everyone’s time and talent to solve the childhood obesity epidemic and our Nation’s chefs have tremendous power as leaders on this issue because of their deep knowledge of food and nutrition and their standing in the community. I want to thank them for joining the Let’s Move! Campaign” stated Michelle Obama.
The program’s aim, in conjunction with Share Our Strength, a non-profit organization whose mission is to end childhood hunger in America, is to connect children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its “No Kid Hungry” campaign and the “Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill” that President Obama is expected to sign this year, the goal is to end childhood hunger by 2015. Poor nutrition obstructs student’s ability to learn, resulting in low grades and a high drop out rate.
At the breakfast prior to the Launch Ceremony, the group heard from speakers Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education; Bill Shore, Founder and Executive Director, Share Our Strength; Janet Poppendieck, Professor and Author; Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator, Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs, Food Research and Action Center; Chef Jorge Collazo, Executive Chef, New York City Department of Education and others.
The goals of the “Chefs Move to Schools” program are to provide children food education and nutrition, raise community awareness, and assist food service. Some of the ways Chef Shelley will meet these goals is to help a school in planting a garden, provide cooking demonstrations and classes, teach students culinary skills, partner with Food Service to improve meals, engaging students and exposing them to locally grown foods.
“The opportunity to share my knowledge about healthy food choices which directly benefits the children in our community is quite rewarding” stated Chef Shelley Nachum. “This nationwide campaign is well organized and focused, and the results should be outstanding. The messages I help deliver are actually quite simple and common sense, but our society has drifted away from core principles and opted for food alternatives which aren’t always the best or most healthy choices,” she continued.
Short on Thyme Personal Chef Service has served Palm Beach and Broward Counties since 2007 by providing healthy nutritious solutions to the “What’s For Dinner” question asked nightly by busy households. Customized quality meals created and made available for busy households provide an excellent platform to re-establish the family dinner hour which has disappeared from many homes due to hectic schedules. Families can now save time and money while enjoying healthy selections and putting solid nutrition back into their daily routine.
Chef Shelley Nachum is a member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA), which is one of several professional culinary organizations enlisted to aid in this national campaign.
For additional information about the “Chefs Move To Schools” campaign, please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/05/13/chefs-move-schools.
Chefs and schools can learn how to join the program by visiting http://healthymeals.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?tax_level=1&info_center=14&tax_subject=225.
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