Tag Archives: Lunch Love Community

Berkeley’s school lunch program is flawed, say insiders

"If They Cook It, They Will Eat It", one of the short films in the Lunch Love Community series. Photo: Sophie Constantinou.
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The successes — and shortcomings — of the Berkeley Unified School District’s revamped school food program received equal billing at yesterday’s première screening of a series of short films collectively known as the Lunch Love Community Documentary Project.

The audience at Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley were greeted with cinematic images of children contentedly nibbling on fruit, tucking into salad, and choosing produce at a school’s farmers’ market.  But, after the viewing, some adults provided a counterpoint to the rosy pictures showcasing Berkeley’s much-lauded School Lunch Initiative.

John Muir 5th grade teacher Stephen Rutherford was hands down the most critical. He talked about long, slow lines for lunch at his elementary school, the challenges for little fingers using swipe cards, the untended salad bar, the rush to eat, the vast amounts of waste, and a tense cafeteria environment.

Some of his concerns echo those raised by parents commenting on a recent Berkeleyside story on Lunch Love Community. “The day-to-day reality of feeding kids doesn’t resemble what you see on this screen,” said Rutherford. “We all had a vision of what school lunch could be and at my school it’s still very sad.” … Continue reading »

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Joy Moore: Community food reformer

Joy Moore teaches elementary school kids about nutrition, as featured in Lunch Love Community./Photo: Sophie Constantinou
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Retired City of Berkeley health outreach worker Joy Moore, 59, is anything but retired.

A long-time local food activist, Moore has played a key role in community efforts to reform school lunch in the Berkeley Unified School District, co-founded Farm Fresh Choice, which brings quality, affordable produce to people of lesser means, and was a member of the Berkeley Food Policy Council, a coalition of community and city groups founded in 1999 to increase community food access and improve health for all the city’s residents.

One of the council’s projects: Farm Fresh Choice, which provides local, sustainable fruits and vegetables to residents in West and South Berkeley neighborhoods who may have economic, transportation, or cultural obstacles that prevent them from, say, shopping at Berkeley Bowl or frequenting the regular Berkeley Farmers’ Markets. The Ecology Center serves as fiscal sponsor for both farmers’ market options.

Nowadays, Moore can be found tending the school garden, talking up healthy eating, and serving fruit smoothies and sauteed greens at the other high school in town Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech), designed for students who struggle to succeed at Berkeley High. She also runs an after-school cooking program at the school her grandson attends, Claremont Middle School in Oakland. … Continue reading »

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