Congratulations to Good Food for Oxford Schools for winning the TEDxManhattan Challenge!
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, works to improve cafeteria menus and simultaneously educate students and their families. In early November, GFOS was listed as one of five “projects deemed as making a difference.”
On Dec. 6, it was announced that GFOS won the challenge. GFOS Program Director and Oxford resident Sunny Young will appear on the TED stage in March 2014 to talk about the program and bring national attention to a local cause.
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.
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.”
To read more about the program, the programs they passed for the honor, and where to watch TED on March 1, visit www.tedxmanhattan.org/challenge/.