Helping D.C. to eat healthy 

CPS students create culinary lunches with the White House Chef.

July 13, 2009

Richards Career Academy student Rafael and his student-chef colleagues had no idea where their culinary creations would take them.


 “When we created this recipe, we never dreamed that we would be able to share it with so many people,” said Ruiz, whose team developed the winning school lunch in Healthy Schools Campaign’s Cooking up Change Healthy Cooking Contest.


On May 5, more than 40,000 students across the U.S. ate the healthy lunch in their school cafeterias. But that wasn’t all. Congressional leaders and their staffers also enjoyed a tasty meal of stuffed green peppers, carrot quesadillas, and refrescante salad in the U.S. House of Representatives cafeteria.


And, at the same time, Ruiz and his Richards teammates—Alvaro, Marquice, Mike, Emmanuel and Jose—prepared the lunch with White House chef Sam Kass at a Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) briefing on the future of school food.


The briefing and nationwide lunch events were part of HSC’s advocacy to urge congressional leaders to support a strong, well-funded reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act that will make this type of healthy meal a daily reality in our nation’s schools.


At the briefing, CPS Food Service/Logistics Director Louise Esaian, Illinois State Board of Education Chair Jesse Ruiz, along with Rochelle Davis, HSC founding executive director, spoke about the need for increased funding for school food, particularly in light of the challenges facing large urban school districts.


More than 30 million children eat lunch at school every day.


Learn more about the Healthy Schools Campaign.