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Donation Heart Ribbon

Local schools combat growing obesity epidemic


Aired 4/19/09

School lunch has always been a bit of political football. Remember Ronald Reagan trying to tell us that ketchup was a vegetable? The official interest in school lunch is party due to the fact that the U.S. government pays billions of dollars every year to subsidize it.

At the local level, school officials are trying to improve the quality and nutritional of school food. There’s a movement to ban candy and soda machines from schools. And in some places, like Berkeley, school districts have hired haute cuisine chefs to improve the menu. San Diego Unified, in fact, has hired a former resort restaurant chef to bring a higher quality to the food local kids eat.


  • Gary Petill, director of San Diego City Schools Food Services Department.
  • Brenda Reynosa, menu systems development dietitian for San Diego School District.
  • Mark Mendoza, executive chef for San Diego School District.

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