Peaches and sporks

Dana Woldow, winner of December’s Titanium Spork Award, has just launched a website PEACHSF.org. The website’s official title is Parents, Educators and Advocates Connection for Healthy School Food. It is THE go-to website for people with questions about school lunch reform. Dana has been working to change school food in 2002 and has made wonderful progress in San Francisco. She is putting all of her knowledge, along with the input of other very smart folks, in one place online help newbies like me.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking with Dana on the phone and we struck up an easy conversation. She is passionate about school food reform and I found her to be incredibly informative, friendly, and down-to-earth. Dana recently wrote her Titanium Spork Award acceptance speech and it appears below.

Thank you so much to Mrs. Q and to everyone who voted for me to win the Titanium Spork Award. I’ve spent the past 8 years working for better school food in San Francisco’s public schools, and I have had the honor of working with so many selfless dedicated volunteers – this award is really for all of them too, not just for me.

After so many years of working in the trenches, I have decided to share everything I’ve learned about fixing school food with everyone across the country who wants to get started making changes in their own communities. On March 26th, my new website, PEACHSF.org, made its debut. PEACHSF stands for Parents Educators and Advocates Connection for Healthy School Food; the website is a place where people can find how to guides, everything from ‘how to talk the talk’ to ‘how to do a pilot’, from ‘how to make friends with your student nutrition director’ to ‘how to figure out if your school or district can do what another school or district is doing’. It’s a place where people can share their successes and bring their questions about how to move change forward.

It’s hard to navigate between the naysayers, who claim that school food can’t be improved because it is controlled by Big Food and Big Ag, or that it should not be the government’s responsibility to feed kids at all, and those on the other side who focus exclusively on the “miracle workers” who are doing great things in their own schools, but without revealing how those improvements are paid for, or whether they are scalable or sustainable. We believe that the truth lies somewhere in between – that a dedicated group of concerned citizens can get informed, get organized, and get going on fixing school food, and achieve success which, even if not miraculous, is at least replicable in other communities, and benefits the kids who are our future. PEACHSF is an open source guide to doing just that, written by volunteers to inspire other volunteers. I hope readers of Fed Up With Lunch will come visit the site at http://www.peachsf.org/ and be motivated to push school food reform forward in their own communities. Thanks again!

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One Response to Peaches and sporks

  1. Dr. Susan Rubin April 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Bravo to Dana! She and I are kindred spirits and now we are fellow spork buddies! As our children grow older, we both look forward to the next wave of school food activists who will get the job done at the grassroots level.

    She is so spot on about the "miracle workers", their accomplishments are awe inspiring but their funding is not always within the realms of reality for most schools and communities.

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