Sunday, May 23, 2010

Plans for Philly's Kids

Michelle Obama's campaign against obesity in American children led her to invite several Philadelphian youth to the White House to help plant the Kitchen Garden. Teaching children where their food comes from is not a new idea. Jamie Oliver has been pushing food and nutrition education for the past decade, and school food is on every parent's proverbial dinner plate.

Regan's school vegetable "ketchup" showed us that we had better not leave the future of our children up to politicians, although the Obama's have so far proven to be champions of children's futures. I just hope any education reform goes more smoothly than his recent Wall Street reform. The biggest difference, instead of lobbyists for credit card companies, we face the soft drink lobbyists and the like. Will the mythical 5 cent/ounce sugar tax ever kick in?

I have my own plan. Along with my book, I have been sitting on a steering committee of s school to open in North Philly called St. James the Less. Last year, the diocese along with Father Mullen of St. Mark's Episcopal Church ran a City Camp for the local children. In the Western Clearview area, this is considered a vulnerable community and is in need of education reform. We are hoping to open a middle school on the property in the next year or so, but in the meantime, we are working on other projects such as afterschool programs in the meantime. I am opening a children's garden.

I will use this garden to instruct planting of seeds, maintaining the herb's and vegetable's growth, the harvesting, the cooking, and of course, the eating! My goal is to show children that food comes from the earth and not a McDonald's bag. That you can eat something green and have it still be delicious! This is the beginning of a new adventure for the One Legged Chef. Wish us luck!


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