Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Can the school lunch be healthy? The Renegade Lunch Lady Ann Cooper says yes

By Laura Reiley, Times Food Critic
St Petersburg Times, Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In 2008, the National School Lunch Program served more than 30.5 million children low-cost or free lunches each day. But according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, about 42 percent of schools don't offer fresh fruits or vegetables, and only 7 percent meet all nutritional standards.

Chef Ann Cooper, the self-described Renegade Lunch Lady, aims to change all that. Hardly the hairnetted drone filling your five-compartment plastic tray, Cooper has spent the past 10 years railing against district spending policies, commodity-based food service organizations and political platforms with no mention of school food or child health. Overhauling districts' lunch programs in New York, Berkeley, Calif. (with the help of Chez Panisse's Alice Waters) and now in Boulder, Colo., she has taken her message national.

[Read the rest of the story at http://www.tampabay.com/features/food/general/can-the-school-lunch-be-healthy-the-renegade-lunch-lady-ann-cooper-says-yes/1039912.]

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