Healthy Food in South Park Packs Cafeteria

On Tuesday, February 28th, parents, teachers, alumni, residents of South Park and community leaders gathered at Concord Elementary School to learn how to support access to healthy food and explore ideas about improving nutrition policy in the Seattle Public Schools.

Norma Zavala, school pricipal, welcomed the crowd of over seventy attendants and introduced Project MOVE. The event featured three stories produced by South Park residents who know what it means to fight for food justice. Paulina López presented her story that highlights the differences  between living in such an isolated neighborhood and her home country. Amanda Sanskill conveyed her positive energy to increase food security in South Park through cultivating vegetables in backyard gardens and places like Marra Farm. The last story was about the South Park Community Kitchen where participants learned how to cook locally grown vegetables into healthy and delicious dinners.

Eddie Hill of Seattle Tilth, Sue McGann of Lettuce Link/Marra Farm, Wendy Weyer, Nutrition Director for the Seattle Public Schools  and Carolyn Kramer of Treeswing were the panelists for the evening. They presented about a range of topics including food justice, school nutrition policy, and answered questions from the audience. Colin Anderson of ECOSS facilitated the panel which also looked at two policy priorities- increasing school lunches at Concord to twenty minutes (children currently have fifteen) and adapting a "Healthy Celebration" policy which would limit sweets at birthday parties.

At the end of the evening everyone left energized and informed about policies and future projects.  Attendees had the opportunity to follow up with different agenceis and organizations who tabled the event. While the specific policies were not adapted, the school administration and the parents committed themselves to keep working for a healthier community and school.