Another meeting to discuss school lunches at LAUSD is set to take place tomorrow, August 18th, at 6:30 p.m. at Manual Arts High School. The meeting is a precursor to the first school board meeting of the year, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 31st.

FOOD FOR LUNCH, a grassroots organization striving for healthier options in the lunchroom, is calling for all concerned citizens to attend. Tomorrow's meeting will be run by LAUSD Green Policy Director Mud Baron, alongside Laura Benevides of LAUSD Food Services, and is being called the “the official listening session” prior to the school board meeting later this month.

In addition to the immediate changes the group has called for, one of FOOD FOR LUNCH's main long-term goals is to reduce the amount of processed foods served in school cafeterias. From a recently released statement:

FOOD FOR LUNCH believes that the health-giving properties of food go beyond what is printed on its package. Processing removes or destroys the inherent nutrients and quality of whole foods that are vital to good health and obesity prevention, including fiber, enzymes and phytochemicals. Processed food, even “vitamin enriched” and “trans-fat free” is largely devoid of these essential nutrients that are present in whole, unprocessed food. Our demands are evidence-based and lead with the premise that the cafeteria is a place of learning and that good dietary habits learned in childhood will be carried into adulthood.

Part of the planned discussion for the August 31st school board meeting is the state of the Tyson contract, which was put on indefinite hold at last month's meeting, partly due to board member Steve Zimmer Googling the company on his BlackBerry and discovering that they're under federal investigation. LAUSD was contacted regarding the status of the Tyson contract but declined to comment.

For more information or to join FOOD FOR LUNCH, email Jennie Cook or Rebecca Crane.

Manual Arts Senior High School: 4131 South Vermont Avenue, L.A.

LA Weekly