New York Coalition for Healthy School Food
NYCHSF is a statewide New York nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of New York's students by advocating for healthy plant-based foods, including local and organic where possible, farm to school programs, school gardens, the elimination of unhealthy foods and education to create food- and health-literate students.
NYCHSF continued to partner with the New York City Department of Education Office of SchoolFood to introduced Project Cool School Food (PCSF) first introduced in 2008 to develop and implement healthy plant-based entrées into the school food program in New York City schools and to promote cost-effective and replicable nutrition education in schools. In addition, since the fall of 2010, In the fall of 2012, new federal regulations were put into place that had a direct impact on Cool School Food NYC. Schools lost flexibility with their menu planning and the ability to prepare our recipes. The NYC Office of School Food offered NYCHSF’s partnering schools the ability to adopt an Alternative Menu that features a vegetarian dish every Monday and Roasted Organic Tofu as an option every Wednesday.
In Ithaca partners for Cool School Food include the Ithaca City School District Child Nutrition Program, Moosewood Restaurant, and Cayuga Pure Organics. All nine elementary schools in Ithaca with a total of 3,000 students are participating in the project. With NYCHSF partners Farm to School entrees were created using local, organic beans and began planning for tofu recipes now that tofu counts as a protein in the school meal program.
In the spring of 2012, the NYCHSF pre-piloted 7 lesson plans of a new Food Unearthed curriculum at a public school in Chinatown, NYC. The nutrition curriculum encourages critical thinking to allow students to uncover information about food and nutrition through the process of exploration. The program’s goal is to help students make healthy decisions now and in the future. Each lesson plan is accompanied by a food component where students get to have a snack (which the students help prepare whenever possible). This exposes them to many healthy foods they might not otherwise have an opportunity to try. Food UnEarthed is a full year curriculum with 25 lesson plans.
Among other activities the Wellness Wakeup Call program is reaching more than 100,000 students in over 200 schools across the country. It is a free nutrition education resource for schools in New York State with a charge of $50 for the resource for out of state schools. It is available on our website in versions K-5 and 6-12 and is written by Registered Dietitians.
Please see the NYCHSF web site at www.healthyschoolfood.org for more information.