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  • Writer's pictureNatalya Murakhver

Minutes from "NYCHSFA Next Steps" Conference Call

Hi team!

Thank you to the following participants who made the call!

Jennifer Lutz, Director, True Health Initiative

Kasia Kaim-Goncalves, CEC D 14

Natalya Murkhaver, Apples to Zucchini

Rachel Atcheson, Deputy Strategist, BP Adams Office

Andrea Strong, NYC Healthy School Food Alliance

Bri Blank Alexander, Bri Healthy

Audrey Sancez, Balanced

Betty Feibusch, Garden Train

March For Healthy School Food Recap

We all felt the March went well, with a good crowd for the first time, though some of us did get separated crossing the bridge, try to keep together next year!

Maybe don’t do it on the day of Puerto Day Parade? Lost press coverage because of that? Rachel says parades every weekend just be sure to do it during school year.

We agreed that a yearly march is a great plan, end of school year is a good time. We can add other Marches if need be if there is an issue that comes up like the moldy pizza or what have you.

Next time sell t-shirts

Try and get more media attention

Also need to be clear about the message since there were some signs that were not quite appropriate for the kids and the March.

Jennifer had a great idea and suggested trying to get more kids involved and reaching out to high school students.

We discussed changing to after school or a school day off but that seems problematic for parents who work so agreed to keep it on a weekend and to increase promotion with schools.

Education and Outreach for More Parents

Audrey made a good point that we need to use the next 10 months to educate more parents and about the correlation between what kids eat and their health. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about what is healthy and what kds are actually being served and what they can do about it.

Andrea will create a document for the Resource Page of the website that we can share that explains the connection between school food and children’s health and share the most important and most shocking data. Also share the story in Heated about this very issue.

To get this information out to more parents, Kasia, CEC D 14 will let Andrea know when she can present to a joint CEC meeting.

Kasia is also working on starting a wellness consortium or working group among the CECs and that would be a great way to disseminate information across the city.

Kasia will also represent the NYC Healthy School Food Alliance and share our work at the CEC Meeting with the Chancellor.

Smaller Action Steps

Bri suggested small steps to the bigger goal. She suggested once a semester we can do school healthy food day where we get new york farms to bring in all food from farmers and meet the farmers and invite the parents in and integrate overall wellness. This sounds like an AMAZING idea but too heavy a life for this group to create this across the city; not doable with our volunteer capacity.

But we agree that smaller steps is a great idea, maybe we can focus on getting rid of chocolate milk and bringing in water jets to every school as goals for near terms?

2019-2020 EVENTS CIty Hall Day of Advocacy

We agreed that a Day of Advocacy at City Council would be a great way to get our asks out there and do this before budget negotiations get started.

According to CM Kallos office: My best advice is to get in early, late january to early feb. Also, do a big day followed by a few smaller more targeted advocacy days for members friendly to the cause and the Speaker's office.

We will choose a day and all of us will request meetings with our council members. We will have teams for each council district. We can all wear the same color t-shirts (or use the march for healthy school food t shirts)

Press release

Members spread out to appointments on the same day

Here is a sample email from the American Heart Association about their day of advocacy:

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you on Thursday, January 24th for NYC Advocacy Day at City Hall with the American Heart Association & American Cancer Society! I’ve attached some light reading to help prepare for the day – an overview of the policy areas we’ll be talking about with Council Members and some tips for having a successful meeting. I encourage you to review in advance, but we will go over everything during the morning session. You will receive your group assignment and schedule of meetings staggered throughout the day at check-in, but here is the general timeline:

9:00 am: Check-in & light breakfast at 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor (enter through the south visitor’s entrance)

9:30 am: Issue review and Lobbying training

10:30 am-3:30 pm: Meetings with Council Members at 250 Broadway

11:30 am-1:30 pm: Lunch provided at 1 Centre Street

4 pm: Group photo on the steps of City Hall

Remember to:

WEAR RED! Red shirts, dresses, ties, etc. are welcome (along with business attire). This will help us get noticed by Council Members, and it will look great in photos.

BRING PHOTO ID - which is required by security to enter 1 Centre Street and 250 Broadway.

Eat In

We discussed and liked the idea of getting Council Members to eat school lunch. We would have to keep it on the down low and not alert the school but have the CM just make an appointment to see the school and pop in for lunch. Would choose a day where it is a processed food day like burgers. See how loud the lunchrooms are and how little time kids have to eat. We want to pull back the curtain on the food and the environment. They can take pictures and videos and share on social media.

Free Fall School Wellness Fair

Andrea envisions a weekend or evening kid-friendly after work event with a panel promoting our platform and exploring the relationship between school food and kids health and importance of nutrition ed, gardening. Maybe have Pam Koch, Bill Telepan, Dan Giusti, someone from Edible Schoolyard, Fan 4 Kids? After the panel, parents can walk around and speak to non profit direct service vendors who will have tables and can share about their work.

Rachel says let’s schedule this quickly to nail down a date, already a busy fall at borough hall. Will also connect with Beth Reed from Office of School Wellness as they do host wellness fairs and we don’t want to repeat the work.

Walk Out

We discussed a coordinated 10 minutes school walk out, using social media to gain traction.

Yes, it will be controversial but as Jennifer pointed out, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We can also link it to the environmental movement and you have a walk out for healthy school food because the food being served in schools damages the health of our kids and the environment.

We will try to engage teenage leaders and Teens for Food Justice.

Next Steps:

Would like to set up committees for each of these events so that we can share the workload a bit. Andrea to share a sign up for people to choose committees to work on -- Walk Out, Fall Wellness Day, City Council Day of Advocacy.

Will have our next conference call on August 5th at 11am EST. Dial-in: (712) 775-7270 Access code: 146381

Thank you all!

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