Students Bring Healthy School Lunch to Congress: Invite Legislators and Staff to Try the Lunch!

May 14, 2012

Last week, the student chefs of Chicago Vocational Career Academy presented a healthy school meal they created for Cooking up Change Chicago at a special briefing on Capitol Hill! The lunch featured oven-fried chicken drumsticks from chicken raised without the use of antibiotics, just like much of the chicken on the menu at schools here in Chicago.

At the briefing, which was hosted by The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming and School Food FOCUS along with HSC, school food leaders discussed the move by CPS to purchase 1.2 million pounds of these drumsticks from Amish farms in nearby Indiana to be scratch-cooked for lunch in the city’s schools.

The culinary students prepared for the briefing with a trip to Miller Poultry in Indiana, where they learned about farming practices and about how the chicken featured in their lunch is raised without the use of antibiotics. Student chef Diamonte B. said, “I think this trip really gave us a better understanding of what we are cooking and what happens to the food.”

With their knowledge of healthy school food — and expert perspective on student preferences in the cafeteria — the culinary students were stars at the Congressional briefing. Kudos to Ciara L., Sheanice D., Kaliah H., Diamonte B., Tatiana R. and Jerome S. for sharing their point of view and bringing their tasty, healthy school lunch to Congress.

Next week, the team will return to Capitol Hill to join five other teams from across the nation in speaking up for healthy school food! On Monday, they will compete in the Cooking up Change healthy cooking contest. On Tuesday, they will again share their meal and speak at a Congressional briefing on healthy school food. That day, samples of school lunches designed by each of the six teams will be served in the Longworth cafeteria, which serves Congressional leaders and their staff.

Lend your support to the students’ efforts by inviting your legislators and their staff to attend the briefing and enjoy the student-designed lunches in the cafeteria!

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Stay posted for updates this week as the student teams get ready for the Cooking up Change national finals in D.C.!

Plus:  The CVCA team’s healthy lunch was in the spotlight in The Washington Post! Check out this great story, The chicken that flew from Chicago to Capitol Hill.