May 2012: Celebrating Real Food On the ‘Big Rig’

May 2012: Celebrating Real Food On The ‘Big Rig’

Wed 30 May 2012

Story by Scott E Bottemer

The Final Week In Santa Ana

The Food Revolution ‘Big Rig’ wrapped up its final classes in Santa Ana on April 7th. During our stay the ‘Big Rig’ team taught two 5 week courses and educated over 600 students, adults and children alike.

The final week of classes had students buzzing about all the information they had learned and they were beaming with delight as they held up their “Certificates of Achievement” for having completed all 5 course weeks.

While many students were sad to see us leave, all were thankful for the opportunity to participate having gained knowledge, confidence, and lifelong skills to cook healthy meals at home and to educate those in their community.

UCLA – The Arrival, the Classes, and Food Revolution Day

The ‘Big Rig’ arrived at UCLA Health System on April 23rd with much fanfare and excitement. To date the ‘Big Rig’ team has hosted an open House and has taught 12 classes. The classes taught so far included groups from, Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Medical Students from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the Resnick Psychiatric Clinic & Hospital along with many others.

The groups from Mattel Children’s Hospital included staff, parents, and youth who are currently patients at the facility. The youth were so excited to get out of their hospital room and participate in a class. Many of the parents commented that they had not seen their children this excited in a long time.

Our stay at UCLA Health System is coming to a close and we are hopeful that we will be asked back in the not too distant future for a more long term engagement so stay tuned!

Food Revolution Day May 19th 2012

Food Revolution Day 2012 at UCLA started off with a bang! The ‘Big Rig’ had an open house for those attending the event where they got to sample some of Jamie’s recipes, watch videos from our previous stops, and chat with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation ‘Big Rig’ teaching staff.

An outdoor cooking demonstration was then taken by Lisa Fontanesi, Program Manager for the Foundation. Children from the local Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club, participated in the demonstration along with some recent graduates from our last stop in Santa Ana.

The cooking demonstration was followed by the on stage introduction of Dr. David Feinberg, CEO of UCLA Health System who was greeted with much applause. Not to be out done was the introduction of the man who started the Food Revolution, Jamie himself.

Jamie and Dr. Feinberg chatted back and forth about Food Revolution Day, the benefit of having the ‘Big Rig’ at UCLA and the possible long term partnership between UCLA and the Foundation.

Dr. Feinberg was followed by several special guests on stage with Jamie sharing their experience with the ‘Big Rig’ classes. The first was Jeanette Torres MPH, Evaluation and Policy Coordinator with Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities, our host at the ‘Big Rig’s’ last stop prior UCLA. Several recent graduates of the 5 week classes in Santa Ana also shared their experience on board the ‘Big Rig’.

NFL great Tony Gonzalez presented the ‘Big Rig’ staff with the gold award from Event Marketer Magazine. The ‘Big Rig’ also took second place in the “Best Activation of a Cause Sponsorship/Tie-In”. Find out more information here.

The event ended with Jamie presenting the 1st place award for best Food Revolution Day MOFILM video to Jason Lansing & Kenneth Wales for their submission, “Stand up to Bad Food” which you can see here.

Chelsea Williams, performed to close the day’s activities as people rushed to get a close up glimpse, (and possible photo) with Jamie as he exited the stage.

All of us here at the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation thank you for your continued support as we aim to Educate, Empower and Inspire an nation to advocate for better food choices in schools, in the work place, and in our communities. Together we can make a difference.

About the author: Scott Bottemer is the Operations Manager for the Food Revolution ‘Big Rig’ Mobile Kitchen Truck.

Photos: UCLA Health System


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