It would be an understatement to say that I was excited to be heading to the White House for the launch of Michelle Obama’s new campaign, Chefs Move to Schools. I’m not sure the right words to express my enthusiasm are even in my vocabulary.
I see your thought bubble now, “Did she just say she was going to the White House? Whaaaat? How did that happen?” Here’s how it went down:
- A couple of years ago, a very bubbly and persuasive woman convinced me that I should join the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), especially because they have a special group called Kids in the Kitchen.
- So, I did.
- Then, I started meeting people who are passionate about cooking with kids.
- Said people suggested that I submit a proposal for a workshop on Cooking with Kids and Community Service for the annual conference in Portland.
- So, I did.
- And it was accepted. Oh dear – what had I done?
- Then I worked with an incredible group of people to plan the workshop, and it went really well!
- I met more people, got more inspired, and agreed to become the co-chair of the Kids in the Kitchen committee.
- The next thing I knew, I got an email from the outgoing IACP president (my newly adopted Godfather) with an invitation to attend this fantastic event. I shared it with all of our Kids in the Kitchen contacts, and then it got shared with all of the IACP members – and now it looks like at least 50 of us will be there to become partners with the new initiative!
- Yes, I know I skipped a few things, like my efforts at school lunch reform in our community and the cooking classes I teach to kids…but you most likely already knew about those…
What’s this initiative, anyway? Well – you probably know that kids in our country aren’t as healthy or as svelte as they should be. And you have probably heard about the Let’s Move campaign to help kids get in better shape…But you also realize (I hope) that movement is only part of the solution. Without adequate nutrition, it doesn’t matter if kids are exercising non-stop. They need to learn about good fuel for their bodies and their minds – and that’s where the new program comes in.
Chefs Move to Schools partners chefs with schools in their communities, and they work together to teach the students and their families about cooking and proper nutrition. Chefs, do you want to volunteer in the schools and change lives? Please sign up to participate! Schools, would your students benefit from learning about better nutrition? Let the campaign know that you would like some chef support.
Why do I care? Cooking with kids is my business, and service is my passion. Clearly, it takes a village to raise a generation of healthy eaters. I am eager to do my part to inspire children and their families to eat better. It’s in the best interests of our nation – financially, physically and ecologically. Plus, is’t simply the right thing to do.
What part will you play?