Did you know that low-income kids get 80% of their calories from school meals? How can schools push the food system to provide better food? On this episode of Add Passion and Stir, hosts and Share Our Strength cofounders Billy and Debbie Shore chat with Washington, DC chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella and social impact innovator and strategist Josh Wachs about child hunger and improving school food programs. Both have seen how demand can drive food systems to be healthier and more sustainable.


Wachs advises the Urban School Food Alliance, a coalition of 10 large urban school districts from around the country that serve about three million kids over three quarters of a billion meals each year. “They are a collection of districts that came together and said, ‘we can collectively through our joint purchasing power radically change the school food market,’” says Wachs. “Because more low-income kids are getting school breakfasts and lunches through programs like Share Our Strength, parents of low income kids are starting to increase pressure on districts over what’s in the food,” he notes. Chef Isabella sees a similar pattern at his twelve restaurants where customer knowledge and expectations are forcing chefs to become better. “Nowadays, everyone knows what they’re eating,” he says. “They read labels. Everyone thinks they’re a foodie, which is a good thing.This dovetails with his work with school districts where he supports programs that teach kids about healthy food.


Listen and learn how consumer education, demand and buying power can transform our food systems.

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