HSC Friends Win 2008 Good Eating Award

November 17, 2008

By Rochelle Davis, Founding Executive Director

Many warm and enthusiastic congratulations to Gary Cuneen
and  Darlene Austin, two friends of HSC
who were recognized last week as winners of the 2008 Chicago Tribune Good
Eating Award
, a recognition I was honored to receive in 2007.  

As founding executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, Gary Cuneen
brings holistic food and nutrition education to schoolchildren around the
Chicago region, helping kids understand where food comes from and how it grows.
He’s also helped bring a farm-to-school focus to Oak Park school lunches, a
program popular with kids and farmers alike. Gary works with HSC on our
programs promoting wellness in Chicago-area schools. Like HSC, Seven
Generations Ahead works at the point where wellness and environmental awareness
intersect. In the award profile, Gary explains: “Culturally, [food] is a
huge part of who we are. It impacts not only the natural environment but also
our health so that it has this crossover capacity that touches people in so
many ways.”

In her role as a culinary teacher in the Chicago Public
Schools Education to Careers program, Darlene Austin
shows high school students the power of cooking and the potential it has to not
only provide nourishment but also to shape their future career opportunities.
Darlene brought her team of high school student chefs from Englewood High
School to compete in the 2007 Cooking up Change Healthy Cooking Contest, where
the team placed third in the dessert category with a tasty and healthy sweet
potato cheesecake. Now a teacher at Harper High School, Darlene continues to nurture students’
potential while sharing her passion for good food.

Congratulations to Darlene and Gary, and many thanks for the
work the work they are doing to shape children’s experiences with food at
school.