Change is Happening in Pittsburgh!

Change Is Happening In Pittsburgh!

Tue 26 Nov 2013

Story by The Food Revolution Team

It’s been a little over a year since Jamie went to Pittsburgh to attend the One Young World conference where seven thought leaders from the city of Pittsburgh stood up and vowed to make change in their communities. Bar Marco, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Propel Schools, Let’s Move Pittsburgh (Phipps), Whole Foods Market, UPMC Health Plan and the Mayor’s office, City of Pittsburgh pledged to start city wide initiatives to improve healthy food access and food education for the people of Pittsburgh, inspired by Jamie and through a new unifying initiative, “Food Revolution Pittsburgh”. Here is what some of these amazing thought leaders have accomplished this year.

Bar Marco

Bobby Fry and Alaina Webber have run the Food Revolution Cooking Club and work with Pittsburgh Public Schools to implement district-wide cafeteria changes while planning for a second round of cooking clubs to begin in the Spring 2014. The team has also launched the Food Revolution fancy water project in 11 schools throughout Pittsburgh. The project consists of water dispensers infused with fresh fruits and vegetables to encourage students to drink more water during school hours. Check out Alaina’s update on everything they have been working on below.

“At Bar Marco, we've expanded our efforts to now include consulting with Pittsburgh Public Schools regarding district-wide changes in their cafeterias. We've met three times to strategize with the food service directors and administration of Pittsburgh Public Schools, including their on-staff dietician. Our cafeteria takeovers acted as pilots for both Food Revolution fancy water and serving fresh dressings and sauces to the entire student bodies of Obama Academy and Brashear High School.

Most recently, we attended the Pittsburgh Public School food service workshop. Speaking to all elementary and high school level food service directors for the district, we introduced Jamie Oliver and Food Revolution and our local efforts, demonstrated how to make "fancy water" with fruits added for the kids along the lunch line. The directors for our pilot schools confirmed the success of the model, and we answered questions and concerns.”

Eat’n Park Hospitality Group

Trina DeMarco, Director of Corporate Giving and Community Partnerships at Eat’n Park described the progress over the last year and touches on what Eat’n Park will be focusing on in the future for Food Revolution Pittsburgh.

“Eat'n Park Hospitality Group hosted multiple events throughout their stores and contract dining sites on Food Revolution Day 2013 in May. They offered their kid’s salad bar for free to their youngest guests and shared delicious healthy take-home recipes from their executive chefs at their Parkhurst Dining locations. Eat’n Park is currently working with several organizations committed to creating a healthier future for kids in the region and is exploring additional opportunities to support Food Revolution Day 2104.”

Propel Schools

Justin Aglio, Principal at Propel Braddock Hills High School explains how his school has been a great model for success following Jamie’s visit. They were more determined than ever to improving the school food options.

“We always had a school store selling snacks but we never promoted healthy eating until last years Food Revolution Day. We went big and literally threw out the junk and purchased healthy snacks and had a ribbon-cutting of our new school store on Food Revolution Day last year. We also celebrated that day by making smoothies for every staff and student in the building. Healthy eating (or just eating) is a passion of mine and I am lucky to work with people who feel the same. I currently serve on the Board for Let's Move Pittsburgh and now we are consistently promoting new healthy food options for kids.”

Let's Move Pittsburgh, Phipps

The Let’s Move Pittsburgh team has been hard at work getting the community to sign the 10,000 tables pledge to help grow Food Revolution Pittsburgh and get families throughout southwestern Pennsylvania to sit down together at least once a week for an entire year to enjoy a screen time-free, home-cooked meal. They are already at 3,264 of the 10,000 pledges they are looking for and will continue to work towards this goal over the next year.

Future Plans for Food Revolution Pittsburgh

At this time, Whole Foods Market, UPMC Healthy Plan and the City of Pittsburgh were unable to get their initiatives up and running in 2013 but we hope for a successful year to come reporting on the work of the other great initiatives and hope that others can find ways to kick-start and join the revolution.

We’re excited to see what the coming year brings and we will make sure to be in touch with these inspiring thought leaders and reporting on their great work to ensure food education continues to spread throughout Pittsburgh.

To follow all of their great process, make sure to check out Food Revolution Pittsburgh Facebook account as well as the Food Revolution Pittsburgh Twitter account.

The Food Revolution Team

Photos: Bar Marco, Obama High School, Adam Milliron, Giant Eagle


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