Cooper’s school meal challenge

Boulder Valley Board of Education is raising money to improve breakfast and lunch menus in Boulder schools.

On Tuesday, there was an interesting article in the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, which we highlighted in our In The News section of the Web site. The newspaper reported that the Boulder Valley Board of Education has raised $400,000, toward a goal of $700,000, to improve breakfast and lunch menus in Boulder schools.

About three-quarters of the money raised thus far will go to pay Lunch Lessons, the menu consulting firm founded and headed by Ann Cooper, to remain in the district for at least one more year as it tries to make the district “a leader in student nutrition,” according to the article.

Last year, Boulder hired Lunch Lessons to show the district how to make school meals healthier. The board of education also appointed Cooper as interim director of foodservice, to lead the charge into what one board member called “the new world of school food.” The district’s goal is to have a foodservice program where everything is made from scratch, using all natural foods and nothing that has been processed. Cooper gained national attention from her work as foodservice director for the Berkeley, Calif., School District, and has parlayed that success into her new company and a gig with the Boulder district.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Cooper also has become a partner with Whole Foods Market to try to widen her sphere of influence. She and Walter Robb, co-president of Whole Foods, plan to go to Congress to argue for sweeping improvements to the federal Child Nutrition Act.

They even have created a Web site, thelunchbox.org, where people will be able to get healthful recipes, information about food safety, and suggestions on how to be a community activist, among other things.

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