Food Revolution In The City Of Angels, 2011Mon 26 Dec 2011
Story by The Food Revolution Team
In 2011 the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation’s mission to improve the way America eats zeroed in on Los Angeles, CA. Here’s a look at how far we’ve come.
Jamie arrived in Los Angeles for Season 2 of "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution,” and he and the team were met by scores of amazing Angelenos fired up to improve the food in LAUSD and in their communities. He also faced a Superintendent so opposed to the Food Revolution that he revoked Jamie’s filming permit in the third week.
We kept circulating our national petition, and tens of thousands of people in the LA area signed it, joining our mailing list. We formed a “Food Revolution Los Angeles” Facebook page that quickly exploded to 10,000 members – the largest Food Revolution concentration in the country.
Our grassroots team started connecting with local organizations already working on school food, cooking education, and school gardens. Over a series of meetings, we formulated a plan to work together.
Just when it seemed the Food Revolution would never take root in LA Schools, Dr. John Deasy took over as LAUSD Superintendent on April 15th. Together with 10 other collaborating healthy food organizations, the Food Revolution helped make sure he was greeted on his first day in office by an organized flurry of letters from Los Angeles community members, including handwritten letters from over 500 school children.
With the public clamoring for change, Dr. Deasy made a public commitment on national TV, when he appeared with Jamie on the Jimmy Kimmel show, to remove flavored milk from LA’s public schools. In mid-June the LAUSD Board upheld that decision. Leaders from nearby districts and students within LAUSD participated in the June 9th Flavored Milk Day of Action, supporting the case for pure white milk.
Backed by the California Endowment, the amazing Jamie Oliver Food Foundation “Big Rig” truck started its Los Angeles teaching gig in Downtown LA before moving on to its first extended engagement at the Challenger Boys and Girls Club in South LA. Find out all about the ‘Big Rig’ Mobile Kitchen in 2011 here.
Through the spring and summer, we worked together with our local partners in the LA area to host eight different community screenings of Episode 1 of the TV show, using it to jump start conversations about school food.
More good news came in September as the LAUSD unveiled a brand new menu, with an array of flavorful, diverse menu items, more fruits and vegetables, and less processing. They also removed pizza, tater tots, and chicken nuggets! While it’s certainly not perfect, we applauded the progress. LAUSD is tweaking the menu this January, and it looks like pizza may return in place of less popular items, so it’s vital we all continue to make our voices heard!
All year long we received brilliant assistance from too many people to name. Chipotle and a gaggle of LA’s best chefs came together to assist with a “text in” fundraiser. We also welcomed our first talented and committed group of volunteers who made many of these actions possible.
But most of all, our gratitude and amazement goes out to the Food Revolutionaries of southern California, and LA in particular, who made an amazing 2011 possible!
What Can You Do Now?
• Make sure you’ve signed our petition and opted in to our mailing list
• If you are an LAUSD family, try the food and give them your honest feedback
• Turn notifications “on” for our “Food Revolution Los Angeles” Facebook page
• Locate and join one of the 40 Facebook community groups in the LA area, plus even more stretching to Orange County, the Inland Empire, and up the coast.
• If you are willing to help us fundraise and friend-raise become an “Ambassador” Or set up a simple Causes.com “Wish" in aid of the Food Revolution or donate direct at our Causes.com project page.
Join us as the Food Revolution rolls on in Los Angeles in 2012!
The Food Revolution Team
LA graphic designed by Clever Creative, Images © David Loftus
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