On the second episode of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s reality TV show, “Food Revolution,” which aired on ABC Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Unified School District remained steadfast in its decision to deny Oliver access to its schools and kitchens.
On the show, Oliver expressed his disappointment and frustration that the LAUSD, which serves a whopping 650,000 meals a day as part of the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch program, will not allow him to ask students about the quality of their school lunch.
Oliver did, however, manage to gain access to West Adams Preparatory School, an MLA Partner School that is under a performance contract with LAUSD but whose CEO, Mike McGalliard, is sympathetic to Oliver’s cause. Working with the Culinary Arts students at West Adams, Oliver learned the heartbreaking story of a 17-year-old student named Sophia, whose mother, father, and younger sister all have type 2 diabetes. As Oliver tried to comfort her and offer his guidance, Sophia expressed her desperation and her concern about her own risk for type 2 diabetes.
Although LAUSD has decided to limit Oliver’s access to its schools, this doesn’t mean students in the district aren’t hearing about proper nutrition and the impact America’s eating habits are having on the childhood obesity epidemic. In fact, LAUSD has partnered with SOSMentor to educate, motivate, and empower students to make healthy food choices and get fit.
The LAUSD Healthy Schools Campaign, a partnership between SOSMentor, Beyond the Bell Branch, LAUSD School Nursing Services, St. Vincent Medical Center, and Newtritious, is bringing nutrition education to over 18,000 students in 700 Los Angeles schools. The effort has been touted by the LAUSD Board as one of its top accomplishments in raising awareness about nutrition and fitness in its schools.
With the help of teachers, volunteer mentors, and health advocates, the Healthy Schools Campaign is reaching out to students like Sophia and teaching them valuable knowledge about how to lead a healthy life. The students are also taught how to share this information with their parents and peers, thereby spreading these healthy messages throughout the community.
For the time being, LAUSD has chosen nonprofits over TV cameras to spearhead the fight against childhood obesity; but with Jamie Oliver’s show tugging the heartstrings of a national audience, the “Food Revolution” is definitely gaining momentum.
To learn more about LAUSD Healthy Schools Campaign, click HERE!