Food Revolution Heroes

Our Heroes are people in communities all across America who are bringing the Food Revolution to life. They are combining their own passions and know-how with what they've learned from the Food Revolution. They are helping us all eat more fresh, healthy food. Use their ideas to make change in your community.

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Kate Adamick, Co-Founder of Cook For America

As co-founder of Cook for America®, Kate uses her skills as a chef, attorney and consultant to help schools across America serve cooked-from-scratch meals.  Through her Cook for America® programming, Kate and her team teach food service workers how to cook fresh, whole foods and how to save money in the process.  Her motto is that “school food is the solution, not the problem.”  Among Kate’s successful projects are the Orfalea Fund’s  s'Cool Food Initiative, Colorado Health Foundation’s Healthy Schools project, and Children’s Health Foundation’s Lunch for Life project. www.CookForAmerica.com.

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Jennie Cook, Co-Founder of Food for Lunch

Jennie is an organic chef and trained permaculturist who has created fresh menus for Hollywood parties and film productions for 25 years. Jennie has recently set her sights on improving public school food in LA and has co-founded a grass roots group named Food for Lunch. The campaign actively engages the LAUSD on menu improvements, sustainable packaging and total sugar reduction by putting forward a clear list of nutritional demands. Food for Lunch also helps parents advocate for pilot programs aiming to eliminate chocolate and flavored milk meal service by working in concert with concerned principals and nutrition directors on a school-by-school basis.

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Peggy Curry, Co-Founder of GrowingGreat

As a mother of four, Peggy decided that she wanted to encourage lasting lifestyle changes in her community. She created Growing Great, a non-profit organization that trains parent volunteers to deliver comprehensive standard-based classroom nutrition lessons, school garden plantings, and harvest-of-the-month tastings. After 11 years, Growing Great has interactive programming in 12 school districts in California, Hawaii, and Las Vegas. Their rallying call? Choose a wide variety of colorful whole foods close to their original source. Peggy and Growing Great have planted the seeds of excitement for healthy eating in over 40,000 students and their families.

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Diana Starr, Parent Volunteer Lomita Magnet School, Los Angeles

Diana's son was entering first grade at a new school when she learned of Jamie’s work in Huntington, WV. Diana signed the Food Revolution petition and volunteered for the PTA, quickly discovering that other moms were alarmed about poor nutrition, childhood obesity and diabetes in their community. With the help of the PTA and experienced activists from Food for Lunch, she formed a Nutrition Committee. As a first task, they want to get rid of the sugary artificial chocolate milk served at school meals. A 30-day trial is currently under way and we await more news!

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Marlene Schwartz, Parent Activist Guildford CT

When Marlene's kids first started school, potato chips and ice creams were available at lunchtime and cupcakes were given out as birthday treats. A cookie-eating contest was the last straw and Marlene approached her principal. She helped energize a Wellness Committee and equipped them with research on childhood eating behavior in school. A core recommendation was a district-wide end to selling “competitive" foods in elementary schools and, to her surprise, most people agreed. Emphasis was switched from providing sugary snacks to fun activities and games during school celebrations, thereby reducing the amount of sugary snacks consumed by kids.

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Nancy Easton and Bill Telepan, Wellness in the Schools

As a chef and former principal, Bill and Nancy created Wellness in the Schools to serve fresh food and fight disease in NYC. Their Cook for Kids program is now in 19 public schools, providing delicious "minimally processed” meals to 15,000 children. The campaign deploys a culinary school graduate into each school to support and train cafeteria staff. Working in a trifecta with the NYC office of school food and individual principals, they have created new menus and helped the district to include healthy items. Wellness in the Schools is rapidly equipping NYC schools with the ability to develop scratch-cooking, and healthy eating habits.

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Marshall Reid, Portion Size Me Video Blogger

Marshall Reid was an overweight 10 year old who decided to take action. Marshall and his family decided to improve their diet over a month, to re-learn their roles with food and stimulate active decision-making. Through Portion Size Me: 31 Days to Better Health, the documentary Marshall and his family created to highlight their efforts, the family improved their relationship with food and their health. Marshall's efforts have also inspired his school to promote a more healthy environment; they recently applied for and received a grant to start a garden and have sent several teachers for additional "health" education.

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Sara Salo, School Food Bicycle Tour

Sara is gearing up to embark on a 6,000 mile, self-supported bicycle tour across America in her quest to raise awareness of the need for more wholesome foods in schools. During time spent working in public health and research, she has noticed an absence of student input with regard to school meals. The cycling tour will take her through diverse communities where she will have the opportunity to interview students and document their true opinions. In each community, Sara will deliver interactive lessons to classes within the local school system to facilitate critical thinking about their current food environments.

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April Hamilton, School Food Campaigner

April introduced Launch a Lunch, a campaign to improve the food served in cafeterias throughout her school district in West Virginia. April recently fronted a fundraising campaign, which raised the capital to enable the consultancy firm Sustainable Food Systems to conduct a countywide assessment to determine the changes that are required to improve school food. It has been concluded that it will cost $18 per child to bring about the required change, a large sum in a district of more than 27,000 kids. However, April has drawn up a detailed plan outlining how the campaign will succeed. We can't wait to see her progress!