Invite Your Legislator to the Most Important Lunch They’ll Have All Year

May 13, 2014

How you can help Cooking up Change

After a grueling slate of competitions across the country, on June 9, the 2013-2014 Cooking up Change season comes down to the final cook-off in Washington, D.C., between the 10 national finalists. This year we’ve seen a bit of everything — including grilled pineapple yogurt cake, Buffalo mac & cheese and a Caribbean garden salad and much more. But the one constant has been student voices. Cooking up Change gives students the opportunity to have their say in the national discussion on school food. Student taste tests and menu planning are central to the program, and the results have been delicious.

Next month at the Cooking up Change national finals, we’ll serve up more than just delicious meals. We’ll bring student voices to Capitol Hill and make sure our national leaders hear them loud and clear: Healthy school food matters.

On June 9, students will take over the kitchen at the U.S. Department of Education where they’ll prepare and present their winning meals in front of a panel of professional chefs and national policy leaders. In the end, one of the 10 teams will be crowned national champion. But make no mistake, these students all are winners, and the grandest prize is having their voices heard on the national stage.

You see, when opposing sides debate and argue about school food, there is often an important perspective that’s missing. The students. Cooking up Change is THE opportunity for student voices to be front and center.

And it’s not just about their meals. The following day is when their voices truly get amplified.

On June 10, Cooking up Change students will present at the U.S. Senate. We will discuss the challenges of preparing healthy school meals, the importance of investing in school food programs and infrastructure, strategies to engage students in healthy food, and most importantly, students will speak up to our national leaders about investing in their health and nutrition.

There is something that you can do to help. At this presentation, we will serve the students’ healthy and delicious school meals to members of the Senate and Congress. We need to make sure our leaders are there to taste the possibilities and hear the concerns from students and advocates alike.

We’re asking you to invite your legislator to lunch. If you want your legislator to hear from these students, please comment on this blog or post on our Facebook page, and we’ll reach back out to you with an invitation that you can send to your legislator encouraging her or him to join us, and the students, for lunch on June 10.