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  • Writer's pictureNatalya Murakhver

Weekly Update for January 21st

Good morning all. We had a very exciting week. 

First, good news, I have a deputy! Lesley Duval, an old friend from the food world, has come on to help me run our group. She is amazing. Too much for one person to do, so I am grateful to have a deputy! Bill Telepan I met with Bill Telepan this week, head chef of Wellness in the Schools and an old friend from the business. They are very supportive of our work and will be a great ally to us, but have to keep things civil with school food because they work with them every day. That said, they have a scratch cooking model ready to roll out and are pushing every day to have the opportunity to do more by way of scratch cooked real foods. They will also be presenting at our parent action meeting on February 12th at Borough Hall.  Letter to Office of Food and Nutrition Services (OFNS) I have drafted a letter to OFNS making certain requests for the coming year including removing chocolate milk, getting rid of the regular menu, and getting a formal city-wide evaluation of what it will cost to convert to scratch cooking. I have gotten many big names and organizations to sign on to this letter which I am sending on Monday. The Daily News will be covering us and the letter in a story on Tuesday. Watch out! Community Board 6 I presented to CB6 in Park Slope this week and they loved our movement. They are drafting a letter to OFNS/DOE in support of our mission which they will vote on and hopefully send in the next month.  School Food Task Force I have called on City Council to form a School Food Task Force to review what the landscape of school food is and make concrete recommendations on how to move away from highly processed foods and those recommendations can be attached to budget lines so that school food can change their ways. I am continuing to meet with City Council on this.  BP Adams is running for mayor in 2021. Also, he is a huge supporter of ours and has also signed on to our letter to OFNS.  Resolution Banning Chocolate Milk I am also making the rounds in City Council trying to get someone to sponsor a resolution banning chocolate milk. Resos dont have any mandatory effect but they are a great way of shaming the DOE into doing the right thing.  Communications/Getting the Word Out Lesley reached out to every CEC in NYC to get us on the calendar. So far we have CEC18 on Feb 4th.  I reached out to PTA Link, which connects PTAs across the city and they will be sharing our work! Events Our next Parent Action meeting is February 12th at 9am at Brooklyn Borough Hall. WITS, Brigaid and Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal to attend.  On March 2nd 5-7pm we will have an event at The Dynamite Shop from 5-7pm, welcoming families with veggie chili (and beer and wine) and sharing who we are and what we are doing.  Press Some press we had this week and last:  WPIX: I was also on Brian Lehrer show talking to the new DOH Commissioner about chocolate milk: Next week we will be coming up with an action plan for all members so you can continue advocating with me for change. Remember we are on Twitter @NYCSchoolFood. Share our mission far and wide! Thanks all! 

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