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Food (r)Evolution in District 66 on August 29

No More Empty Pots (NMEP) serves as a conduit for collaboration among diverse groups and individuals on the pathway to community food security and self-sufficiency. To that end, periodically NMEP may share guest blog posts from food professionals in our community. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s). Let us know what you think.

by Diane Zipay

Diane Zipay, Westside Community Schools Director of Nutrition

Diane Zipay, Westside Community Schools Director of Nutrition

Imagine a high school football stadium filled with parents and children enjoying fresh, healthy food, physical activity and a rock-n-roll show by the world’s only rock star nutritionist.

Sounds wonderful to me! I am the nutrition services director for Westside Community Schools. I would like to invite everyone in Omaha and in our neighboring communities to Food (r)Evolution, the most rock-n-roll family food event Omaha has ever seen.

Food (r)Evolution will be held Thursday, Aug. 29, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Westside High School stadium, 87th and Pacific. This event is free and open to our entire community. We want to give families a place to enjoy good food and fun, along with information about healthy eating and exercise. Let’s start the school year off right together.

We’ll have a show by rock star nutritionist Jill Jayne, the Fuel Up to Play 60 Fitness Challenge, a farmers’ market, cooking demos by local celebrity chefs, and more. We’ll be serving dinner of Little Red Barn Beef burgers (local, grass-fed beef), a Super Power Vegetable and Fruit Bar and milk. Our sponsors and partners include: ConAgra, Hiland Dairy, Kellogg’s, Sysco and Whole Foods. Our media partners, NRG Media and WOWT, will be promoting our event. WOWT evening news anchor Malorie Maddox will be our host for the event!

We’ve even invited First Lady Michelle Obama, whose focus in the last few years has been working to make America’s kids healthier with her Let’s Move program.

Food (r)Evolution grew from my position as nutrition services director at Westside Community Schools. The event has been months in the making – but the idea for it was generated a few years ago when I was watching English chef Jamie Oliver on TV talking about the food in American public schools. He was very critical of the food, which he portrayed as processed, devoid of nutrients and tasteless. On his show, Food Revolution, he visited various school cafeterias and tried to help nutrition workers change the food.

I was offended by the way he stereotyped school food in America. In Westside we were already doing many of the things Oliver was suggesting. We’ve instituted a Farm to School program. We serve fresh fruits and vegetables and local food as often as we can.

In addition, I thought that the last thing we need in this world is another revolution.
Revolution implies something sudden and forcible. In school nutrition, we need to evolve slowly, and we need to bring kids and parents along with us. And that’s what I hope Food (r)Evolution will help us to do.

So I hope you and your neighbors, friends and family will join us at Food (r)Evolution to learn more about healthy eating that is tasty and enjoyable and physical activity that is fun and full of purpose.

See you on August 29!

To learn more about Food (r)Evolution, like us on Facebook Food \r\Evolution, follow us on Twitter @evolvingfood or visit our webpage, www.westside66.org, nutrition services, Food (r)Evolution.

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