LAUSD Representatives Participated in Round Table with First Lady in Support of Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act

LOS ANGELES (May 27, 2014) — Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Chief Operating Officer Rick Boull’t and Food Services Director David Binkle traveled to Washington, DC to meet with First Lady Michelle Obama in support of the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which sets healthy guidelines for school meals across the country.  LAUSD has been regarded as a leader in the school food arena because the District has higher dietary standards in its school meals than required by federal law.

“It takes the leadership of our board members to implement such standards,” said David Binkle, director of Food Services at LAUSD.  “Studies show that when students eat right, they perform better in school.  As a District, we do not believe regulations on school meals should be rolled back to ensure the health and wellness of our students.”
 
Consumption is on the rise as a result of the federal regulations.  LAUSD is expected to serve 15 million more meals than projected for the 2013-2014 school year.   LAUSD is not a typical school district when it comes to food in school.  It does not serve “kid-friendly” foods like pizza, chicken nuggets, french fries or even flavored milk.  Instead, turkey and veggie burgers, edamame, jicama sticks, teriyaki chicken bowls, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lowfat and non-fat milk are served to 650,000 students daily.

“It was an honor to share LAUSD’s story with the First Lady and the changes that we’ve implemented in the District to ensure that we serve the freshest and healthiest possible meals to our students,” said Boull’t. 
 
As a Good Food Leader, the LAUSD Board of Education passed the Good Food Procurement Resolution last year, pledging to ensure that all students have access to nutritious and wholesome food that are locally sourced with sound environmental practices.  Today, 75 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables served at Café LA, the district’s dining facilities, are harvested within 200 miles of the District. Lean proteins, low fat dairy and even wheat are sourced locally.
 
In 2002, the LAUSD Board of Education made a bold move by restrictung access to carbonated beverages to students.  In 2004, the choices of snacks in schools were changed to healthier products and in 2005 came the “Cafeteria Reform” motion and “Obesity Prevention” motion, which restricted meal offerings.  Restrictions included no additives or preservatives, no artificial dyes and a focus on serving more fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Contact:
Tom Waldman - (213) 241-6766
Tatum Wan - (818) 590-1530

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