“In terms of schools practicing what they teach- instead of ‘practice what you preach’ we say ‘practice what you teach’. The school cafeteria can really be an example of an ideal way to eat, because so many kids depend on their school meals as a major part of their daily calories. Some kids eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at schools in this country and would go hungry if they didn’t have that food in schools. Many Food Service Directors would say that as long as the kids eat something that’s what’s important and it’s true that when you have a hungry child the most important thing is that they eat something, but why is that good enough? Why aren’t they eating something healthy? It’s all the more important for children who come to school hungry to get healthy, nutrient dense foods that supports good health and prevents diseases. It’s just so important that the kids who are most in need of food be getting healthy food at school. So we want schools to practice what they teach and to be a good example since some children may not get exposure to these foods outside of school. So it’s a great place to plant seeds, it’s a great place to learn. The food should be part of the learning.” -Amie Hamlin, Coalition for Healthy School Food
Amie Hamlin is the Executive Director for Coalition for Healthy School Food (CHSF), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that introduces plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools to educate the whole school community about the health, environmental, and social justice issues of our food choices.
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“We have a big focus on foods from different cultures. Our recipes- we call them “Cool School Food”. The reason we call them that is that it’s cool that you can learn about and experience food from other cultures and because it’s healthy, but also because it helps keep the planet cool since animal agriculture is probably the biggest cause of climate change (…). It’s absolutely neccessary to save our planet, for it to continue to be habitable, that people drastically reduce or ideally eliminate animal products from their diet for the planet. Since kids are climate striking- they are leaving school to climate strike, I think it’s super important that the principals of the schools and the school districts have vegan food on the menus, climate friendly food, and they let the students know “We really care about your future and that you have one here on planet Earth and you can come into the school cafeteria and we have climate friendly food here for you that’s delicious, multi-cultural, healthy and it’s going to help the planet- right now and in the future.” -Amie Hamlin, Coalition for Healthy School Food