We’ve been checking in with former TEDxManhattan speakers to get an update on their work. Below, learn what Chef Ann Cooper, “The Renegade Lunch Lady,” has been up to since her 2013 talk, which can be found here.
Though school is out for the summer, Chef Ann Cooper’s school food reform efforts never stop! Through her nonprofit Food Family Farming Foundation (F3), Chef Ann is working hard to update and expand The Lunch Box, a free, online toolkit to help schools transition to scratch cooking. Her first priority is the development of recipes that meet the new USDA guidelines. She’ll upload them in an explodable format that makes menu planning easy for schools. She’s also working with the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition to conduct an evaluation of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program to determine what barriers are keeping schools from bringing salad bars into their cafeterias. To date, F3 has impacted over 800 U.S. school districts and 1,385,112 schoolchildren.
Named one of Greatist.com’s “Top 15 Crusaders for Health in America’s Food Industry” for 2013 (alongside the likes of Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama), Chef Ann is taking her message across the country in July. She’s speaking at the School Nutrition Association’s annual conference and The Edible Schoolyard’s and FoodCorp’s “Fellows in the Field” conference. To learn more about Chef Ann’s work, you can read her recent blog post at FoodTank.