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School lunch news

(article, Culinate staff)

Ann Cooper, the self-proclaimed '"renegade has a high profile among those working to redo the American school lunch. Now, after several years in the Berkeley, California, school district, Cooper has moved to a larger district, this time in Boulder, Colorado. [ Writes Katrina Heron at the Civil Eats blog: 

bq. A lot of \[Cooper's\] work will involve breaking the district’s dependence on the conventional school-food procurement system, which is administered by the USDA via the National School Lunch Program. 

Incidentally, the same program is up for reauthorization this fall as part of the Child Nutrition Act, and, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune,  there's lots for legislators to scrutinize, including the reality of nachos for lunch — every day:

bq. They are cheap and easy to prepare, which is important in school systems with dwindling numbers of working kitchens, minimally trained labor and only about $1 to spend per meal. The dish uses at least two agricultural commodities that form the backbone of the lunch program, corn and meat. And students will happily eat nachos daily — key in a system that financially rewards companies when kids choose to eat their food.

Wondering what all the lunch-related fuss is about? The unappetizing photos on the blog American Lunch Room might be all you need to see, with one exception: The lunch photo submitted by Ann Cooper herself, which looks pretty darned good.