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“Local Food Dude” Working with White House to Improve School Lunches
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New Haven’s top school chef is working with the White House to create healthier lunchroom cafeteria menus nationwide.  WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.

Timothy Cipriano, Executive Director of Food Services for New Haven’s public schools, was one of two school chefs in the nation invited to participate in Michelle Obama’s recent White House Childhood Obesity Summit. Known as the “local food dude”, Cipriano offers guidance to federal officials on how school food policies actually play out on the ground.

"They’re not the people on the front lines. My workers are the people on the front lines. I take the feedback from them and then bring it to the White House and the USDA on what can effectively be done to benefit the students."

New Haven’s food service program provides breakfast, lunch and a snack to 20,000 students each day.

"We’ve brought in all whole grains for our bread products. We increased the number of fresh fruits and vegetables by 100%. This year alone we’ve purchased over 50,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables from local farms."

Cipriano says many school lunchrooms have a bad reputation for good reason. But he says, there is a growing progressive school lunch movement focusing attention on nutrition at school . For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.

Food policy is the focus of a Yale Law School beginning on Friday. Lawmakers, scholars, farmers and students will talk about access to food and ecologically sustainable food production. 



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