Imagine telling your success story from the middle of Times Square in New York City.
As one of five national finalists in the TEDxManhattan Challenge, there’s a good chance that Good Food for Oxford Schools could actually “start spreading the news” about the positive progress the school initiative has made in recent months.
The TEDxManhattan Challenge, a national challenge to see what communities are doing to change the way they eat, is a one-day event that will be held in New York City on March 1, 2014. Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS), an initiative of the Oxford School District in Oxford, Mississippi to improve cafeteria menus and simultaneously educate students and their families, is listed as one of five “projects deemed as making a difference.”
In the last seven months alone in Oxford public schools, 60 percent of all school menu items are now cooked from scratch, up from 40 percent last year; eight student-initiated gardens and green houses are being sustained by students and teachers; and, student-led Food Clubs have begun at schools to engage students in their own health by learning to cook.
The school initiative needs the community’s help in telling its story, though.
“To win the opportunity to tell the Good Food for Oxford Schools’ story in the center of Times Square, our school program needs your vote,” said Sunny Young, Good Food for Oxford Schools Program Director. “The top finalist with the most votes will be considered the most impactful, and this is where we need the community’s help. We need votes for our program, so that we can win this challenge and tell our story.”
The voting process takes place online at www.tedxmanhattan.org/
“If Good Food for Oxford Schools wins, we will have the chance to talk about all the progress our work has made in March from the middle of Times Square!” said Young. “It would be wonderful to bring such positive attention to our program and the state of Mississippi.”
According to Young, future plans include to make local farm produce a part of an everyday school menu, put money back into our local farm economy, and to boost the reputation of vegetables by making them “cool.”
“We now have kids asking parents to put vegetables in their cart at the grocery store, and we have high school students choosing to eat a nutritious salad and elementary students eating fresh fruit,” said Young. “Overall, our goal is to become an example for ALL public schools in Mississippi and to create lasting, habitual change for Mississippi families.”
For more information on the national challenge or to vote online for Good Food for Oxford Schools, visit www.tedxmanhattan.org/
Courtesy Oxford School District