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States Aren't Waiting for the Federal Government to Address Climate Change

Ann Cooper is conducting a clinic in Boulder on how to rescue school food. Is anyone paying attention?

In remaking the lunch line in Boulder schools, Cooper has revealed the federally subsidized school meals program as living somewhere in the Stone Age. Not merely underfunded, school kitchens are woefully under-managed and under-equipped to function in a digital age. No wonder they constantly run in the red. Schools are incapable of serving real food any more because they are mired in lack of imagination, lack of will, and above all, lack of professional know-how when it comes to producing meals with recognizable whole ingredients.

In other words, Cooper has proven that serving better food in school is not just about getting a bigger handout from Uncle Sam. Turning out wholesome meals, as opposed to the reheated junk so many school districts pass off as food, can be done on the current budget. But getting there takes guts, hard work, and brains -- hardly the qualities that win advancement in public-school bureaucracies.

"People just don't get that the existing system already has virtually all the money it needs," said school-food consultant Kate Adamick, who has made a career out of showing school districts how they can capture millions of dollars by correcting a multitude of inefficiencies.


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