On the morning of August 12, 2012, while reading the Washington Post, I saw a story featuring one of my neighbors, JoAnne Hammermaster. Now, it isn’t always good to see your neighbor in the newspaper, especially in the Metro section, but this time it turned out to be a wonderful story highlighting an initiative to improve the nutritional quality of school lunches through an organization she helped found, Real Food For Kids (RFFK).
Before the meat additive “pink slime” became the focus of the media, JoAnne and her partners at Real Food For Kids were working to educate Fairfax County parents about the ingredients in food served in school cafeterias. For example, a hamburger patty served in Fairfax County schools contained 26 ingredients, and the pizza and the cheese quesadilla each had over 70. This Fall, the hamburger will be replaced with a 100% beef burger and Fairfax County Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) says overall there has been an 80% reduction in food additives in the past year.
RFFK is working to bring fresh foods, locally grown fruits and vegetables, to our children’s schools. One way to do that is by offering salad bars. Last year, 8 Fairfax County schools offered salad bars. This year it will be 10. RFFK encourages schools to contact FNS to request one. Additionally, Marshall High School in Falls Church is beginning work on a pilot program that will enable them to make most foods from scratch starting in Fall 2013.
To continue its success, RFFK needs community support. Here’s what you can do:
- Sign the resolution for better school food through your PTA.
- Ask Real Food For Kids to come to your school to tell parents about our initiative and support the resolution. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a speaker at your next meeting.
- Get involved! Real Food For Kids would love your help. Email email@example.com if you would like to speak with someone about opportunities to get involved.
- Stay updated on the progress. Sign up for their newsletter! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Food For Kids began when a group of Vienna parents came together to work toward the goal of increasing healthy food choices in Fairfax County schools. Vienna residents who are making a difference locally and nationally are another reason I love living in our town.
(This edition of TheresNoPlaceLikeVienna.com was contributed by Susan HusseySusan resides in Vienna where she, her husband and two young children all try to eat healthy. )