August 30th, 2010

We had a great turnout at our Lunch Line screening Saturday, where we hosted the Southeastern premiere of a documentary that shows “how you can impact children’s health and work within the system.”

We were lucky to have one of the filmmakers, Michael Graziano, drive down from Nashville. The film,produced by Graziano and his partner Ernie Park at Uji Films, was alternately hilarious, sobering, and poignant. It follows six kids from Detroit who are just trying to make their school food healthier. In the meantime, it offers a comprehensive look at the history of school lunch; the current state of the program, which feeds over 31 million children daily; and the future of school lunch.

We packed the house with over 60 attendees, who together donated over $500 to help mobilize Alabamians to end poverty in our home state. These donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by theCommunity Foundation of Greater Birmingham.  Thank you!

Most importantly, we started a discussion about the school lunch program, the food system, child nutrition, hunger, and childhood obesity – one we hope to continue during our Hunger Workshop tomorrow in Huntsville and the Food Summit on November 12-13 in Birmingham. We’re planning further Lunch Line screenings in Montgomery and at UAB, UA and Auburn; details TBA! If you would like to host a screening with us, contact T.C. McLemore.

Our panel discussion included (above, left to right):

Amanda Storey, coordinator of Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Jefferson County

Scott Silver, the Farm-to-School Coordinator for Jones Valley Urban Farm

Sharon Boshell, Area director for the Child Nutrition Program in Shelby County

Jennifer Horton, parent and chair of the CPC Education Workgroup

Michael Graziano, co-producer of Lunch Line

Amanda, our moderator extraordinaire, sent us these resources about school lunch reform:

To advocate for the Child Nutrition Act working its way through Congress, see Slow Food’s Info on Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Big thanks to Amanda, Jenn, Scott, Sharon, and Michael for bringing their knowledge, experience, and viewpoints to an excellent panel discussion!

Thanks also to our audience members, who asked great questions; Merrilee and Brad at the Bottletree Cafe, who generously gave us their space; and Greater Birmingham Community Food Partners,Jones Valley Urban Farm, Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, and Slow Food Birmingham who promoted this event all over the city.

Posted by Robyn Hyden