Have you heard of FoodFight? Not the terrible animated film that took product placement overboard, but the very cool nonprofit founded by former public school teachers that educates kids and teens about aspects of the food system ignored by most classroom initiatives. Think lesson plans on media literacy and food label evaluation alongside basic nutrition coursework.
“Giving people (especially children and teens) lists of what to eat and what not to eat does not work to change eating behaviors and attitudes,” executive director Deb Lewison Grant tells us. “Instead, we look for ways to engage school members in conversations about the ways in which our media diet drives our food diet while showing them how the industrialized food system (coupled with legislative and political forces) dramatically shape what we eat and buy.” Sign me up.
They’re hosting their annual benefit on May 27 at 6:30, and it promises to be great fun: chefs Dave Martin, Andrea Beaman and Sean Quinn will butt heads in a showdown, and an auction and in-house mixologists will keep things lively. Proceeds will go toward developing and launching an online food literacy toolkit to make their resources available to schools across the nation. Tickets, which run from $75 to $250, are available here.
FoodFight’s programming has already touched more than 50 New York City schools. They implement their courses directly in classrooms and operate a Teacher Wellness Program that equips teachers to translate some of their lessons in the classroom. They even have a program for parents. And they’re arming students with a framework for thinking critically about the food system — an important skill set that gets overlooked in programs geared toward younger children. Supporting them means supporting the next generation of thoughtful consumers, and you can’t put a price tag on that.