By Rady Ananda
When your food is good, so is your physical and mental health, and for kids especially, behavior improves. It took a whole community – parents, educators, food justice advocates, cooks, policymakers, and helpful citizens – more than a decade to change the way children access healthy and nutritious meals in the Berkeley, California schools. This, according to the Lunch Love Community Documentary Project, which uses a mosaic of “webisodes” made specifically to be watched, shared and spread online. These short videos are part of a public engagement campaign that will culminate in a full length documentary, to be released this year.
Jackie Zabel of CitizenFilm.org told Food Freedom, “These short films are a riveting campaign, focusing on the importance of feeding our children nutritional food and the nationwide movement that began with the Berkeley school lunch program.”
Here are two of the short videos: The Parent Factor and The Whole World in a Small Seed:
The Parent Factor: Against all odds, a group of visionary parents came together in the 1990s to organized change the way Berkeley children would eat in school.
The Whole World in a Small Seed: In Rivka Mason’s school-under-the-sky at Malcolm X elementary, children experience cross-disciplinary learning in their school garden.
We can be sure they’re growing most of the Top Ten Most Nutritious Vegetables.
Other videos in the Lunch Love Community Documentary Project include:
The Labor of Lunch: Making from-scratch meals for 5,000 kids is hard work for everyone, and it happens every day at the BUSD Central Kitchen.
But Is It Replicable? School leaders from West Sacramento tour the Central Kitchen and Dining Commons wondering how a program like Berkeley’s could work for them.
Flamin’ Hot: How long does it take for a Hot Cheeto to melt? Kids learn about some of the choices they are making every day when they experiment with food additives and combustion.
If They Cook It, They Will Eat It: Elementary school cooking teachers Kathy Russell and Brenna Ritch awaken children to the world through the food they cook and eat with one another.