On National Food Day, October 24th, 250 children ran around in rainbow colored t-shirts that said: “Get Real,” handed out by Real Food For Kids, in a countywide event in an effort to highlight the need for change in school food. The day was a huge success, with upwards of 400 parents, schools board members, and press in attendance.
Nationally-known chefs Ann Cooper, aka The Renegade Lunch Lady, and David Guas of Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar and Eatery, led an interactive food demonstration. Both chefs engaged the schoolchildren with questions about seasonal fruits and vegetables. The demonstration culminated in the making of enormous salads, tossed in kiddy-sized pools using child-sized rakes and shovels using produce harvested by children the day before at Maple Avenue Farm, which donated all of the produce. Many of the children had never seen a, and for some children, it was the first salad they’d ever eaten.
After the demonstration, the children made their way to the psychedelic M.A.X. (Maple Avenue Express) food truck. Beef sliders, were served on whole wheat buns and dressed with local, organic ketchup. In support of the cause, Whole Foods Market provided crocks of butternut squash soup along with bushels of honey-crisp apples that were quickly devoured. Children climbed aboard a 1957 farm tractor and ate their lunches as children in 1957 did.
For RFFK organizers it was an idyllic fall day: children clad in rainbow-colored shirts moving through space eating apples, greens and grass-fed beef. Ready to continue full-steam ahead with their initiative, the group is bolstered and encouraged by the response to their event. “It’s amazing how many parents have called and e-mailed me to find out how they can help,” says Hammermaster, executive director.