First Lady Michelle Obama Launches "Chefs Move to Schools" Program
THE WHITE HOUSE – As communities and organizations get behind the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign to solve the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation, one group that could have a tremendous impact on the health and well being of children is the Nation’s chefs. As part of her effort to turn policies into practical solutions for America’s families, Mrs. Obama is calling on chefs to get involved by adopting a school and working with teachers, parents, school nutritionists and administrators to help educate kids about food and nutrition. By creating healthy dishes that taste good, chefs have a unique ability to deliver these messages in a fun and appealing way to the larger audience, particularly children.
The “Chefs Move to Schools” program, run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will pair chefs with interested schools in their communities so together they can create healthy meals that meet the schools’ dietary guidelines and budgets, while teaching young people about nutrition and making balanced and healthy choices. With more than 31 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 11 million participating in the National School Breakfast Program, good nutrition at school is more important than ever.
“Many children consume as many as half of their daily calories at school and as families work to ensure that kids eat right and have active play at home, we also need to ensure our kids have access to healthy meals in their schools,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “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.”
“Chefs and nutrition experts can play a critical role in addressing the childhood obesity crisis, and they are welcome partners as we work together to improve the overall health and nutrition of America’s children,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By passing a strong reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, Congress can provide important resources to improve school cafeteria equipment and expand training opportunities for chefs, school food service personnel, and nutrition experts in our schools, because they will be on the front lines of improving school meals for our kids.”
“School cafeterias are the frontline for fostering a healthy lifestyle for children,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “This initiative is a creative and vital opportunity for children to learn and practice healthy habits. When partnerships between schools and the broader community are created, everyone wins.”
Chefs interested in signing up can do so by going to www.letsmove.gov and clicking on the “Chefs Move to Schools” button. In coming weeks, chefs will be paired with a school in their community that is interested in using them as a resource.