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On March 5th we invited Amy Kalafa to our cafe to show here film and talk about the movement and her leadership practices. (see my earlier entry about the movie) The film shows not only the problems with our school lunches–don’t serve real food anymore, food is now a “commodity”, a product and significantly vendors are competing with real food–and the increasing child health, obesity, and learning problems have been building over the past 30 years, to the point that the CDC is now forewarning: “for the first time in history, our nation’s children will live shorter lives than their parents.” I just wanted to shout “stop the madness” and Amy’s film shows us how we can make simple small changes (like add a salad bar with fresh vegetables). But it takes willingness to say yes to all the other “nos” and well, offer up a multiple bottom line perspective.
The issue is implementation: it is difficult to change a system that depends on school lunches, candy/ cookie drives, for revenue. It is challenging to change our American culture and people who are brought up eating products rather than real food. And it is tough to get rid of the companies that supply “products” for profit out of the schools. And that is where Amy’s film comes in- to showcase the battle and that we are not alone in wanting this change to occur soon…it will take two million angry moms before systemic change is made, but we can do this locally one at a time! That is what her film demonstrates though facts, following another woman’s campaign to get her school to change, and the determined teachers, parents, administrators and food providers who get on board to offer real solutions.
Back to our Soul at Work cafe: The movie inspired an intense conversation among the diverse women in the audience, who included mothers, teachers, nutritionist, school wellness committee members, entrepreneurs, and other “self-starters”, as Amy observed. The topics discussed uncovered so many important issues that mattered to these women:
- How to make change within a resistant school system
- How branding yourself as “Angry” can really make a splash and gain attention
- Why food is thy medicine and how connecting with food source can lead to a renewal in our lifes
- What resources are available to parents and those within the school system to help facilitate change to a healthier menu
- When you combine your talents and your passion, you can find your life purpose.
A feature of the Soul at Work Cafe is to highlight women leading in their own way, as Amy did by making her film. A benefit is that the women who attend leave inspired, educated, and connected with a few more women who can help them along their unique paths.
Soul at Work cafe attendees wanted to continue the conversation here! Regardless, if you attended the cafe or missed it, give us your comments, recommendations, insights and aspirations to the following:
- Upon seeing the film or listening to Amy’s story what were your A-ha! moments?
- What are your next action steps?
- Link other books, films or sites that you resonant with this topic?
- How did Amy’s persistence and approach in showing solutions inspire you in your work? What are you talents or capabilities and if linked with your passion what purpose would unfold?
- Tell us about an important food memory for you?
If you missed the event, take peek of a film clip in our media section or go to Amy’s website for more viewing and resources on the movement to make our schools healthier learning communities.
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