Christine Vilsack: ‘I Know How Hard it is for Students to Learn If They are Hungry’

April 08, 2010

Christie1 In March, students from Tilden Career Academy High School in Chicago presented their healthy, kid-pleasing school lunch to a crowd of supporters in Washington, DC as part of HSC's Cooking Up Change day of action. This is the second in our series of posts about the remarks made that day.

HSC is fortunate to have support for healthier school meals from Christie Vilsack, a teacher, mother, and wife of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. We're thrilled that she is serving as national honorary co-chair of Cooking Up Change 2010 alongside Karen Duncan. In her March 2 remarks, Vilsack emphasized a crucial reason that healthy school meals are so important: students learn better when focused on school, not on hunger.

… I’m thrilled that Karen Duncan and I are working together as national honorary co-chairs of Cooking up Change. As teachers, we are both passionate about this issue and thrilled to support the talented students who are showing just how delicious healthful food can be. Our husbands are also committed to these issues. They are working together to achieve the President’s vision for healthier children, and to promote the First Lady’s wonderful new Let’s Move initiative to end childhood obesity.

I am supporting the Healthy Schools Campaign because I know how important healthful school food is to the success of our nation’s students. Many students get the majority of their daily food at school, and this is especially true during these difficult economic times. As a teacher, I am especially aware of the difference that a healthy meal can make to a student’s ability to focus and learn. I know how hard it is for students to learn if they are hungry.

I want to congratulate the student chefs who are involved with Cooking up Change. They provide us all with a wonderful example of what can happen if students are engaged and involved in rethinking school food.

You can learn more about Cooking up Change here and raise your voice for healthy school food here.

Christie2