Food Justice Experts to Speak of Social Movement for More Locally Grown, Fresh Food
On Tuesday, March 22, two experts on the farm-to-school movement, an Occidental College professor and a school district nutrition director, will share success stories on how more schools are serving fresh, locally grown, healthy food to their students.
Robert Gottlieb, the Henry Luce Professor of Environmental Studies and director of Occidental's Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, and Rodney Taylor, the food and nutrition director of the Riverside Unified School District, will speak from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Growcology Learning Center, a nonprofit group that provides education on sustainability, gardening, and homesteading. The center's address is 3569 Crowell Ave., Riverside. The March 22 talk is free and open to the public. RSVP by emailing email@example.com or calling (951) 389-4769.
Gottlieb and Taylor will highlight the history of the farm-to-school movement and share how the Riverside school district, among others, is helping to reduce childhood obesity and increase nutrition awareness. The two began working together 15 years ago, when Gottlieb had a child in a Santa Monica elementary school, and Taylor was the district's food service director. They installed a fresh fruit and vegetable salad bar with produce from local farmers. The project was so successful that it expanded to every school in the Santa Monica district.
Taylor brought the farm-to-school concept with him when he moved to the Riverside school district. Now, the program is in 29 of the district's 31 schools. In addition, he inspired 29 other schools in the Inland Empire to launch their own farm-to-school programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and First Lady Michelle Obama have held up the Riverside program as an example of how schools can improve their students' health and teach them better nutrition. A March 17 opinion piece by Gottlieb and Taylor in the Riverside Press-Enterprise gives more information about the evolution of the farm-to-school program in Southern California.
The event is co-hosted by Occidental's Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, the Riverside Unified School District, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Desert Sierra Health Network, and the Growcology team. Signed copies of Food Justice, a new book written by Gottlieb and Anapuma Joshi, director of Occidental's national farm-to-school program at UEPI, will be available.
Also that day, Gottlieb will give the keynote speech at a seminar, "Helping Families Eat Right When the Money's Tight," at 1365 S. Waterman Ave., San Bernardino. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Gottlieb will give his presentation at 10:30 a.m. The seminar is sponsored by the Network for a Healthy California-Desert Sierra Region, and the Desert Sierra Health Network. For more information, contact Theresa Warren at (909) 387-6320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.