Archive for September, 2010

The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010

My name is James Hartrick and this is my first blog post for the OFL Detroit Blog. I am a new Americorps member and you can read more about me here:  http://bit.ly/aiJkwO.

I was reading the news the other day and happened upon an article in the CNN blog titled, “Better childhood nutrition needed, retired military officials say.” The statement and subsequent article was focusing on the upcoming U.S. House of Representatives vote on The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010. The act would:

  • Improve access to school meal programs
  • Improve access to out of school meal programs
  • Help schools and child care improve the quality of meals
  • Encourage public/partnerships in communities
  • Improve food safety requirements for school meals programs
  • Streamline program administration and support program integrity

Military leaders feel that the act is necessary to decrease childhood obesity which would increase the number of young adults who are qualified for national service.

The article also briefly mentions the creation of the National School Lunch program in 1945. Similar to The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010, the program was designed to combat hunger and bolster national security by allowing more children to eventually qualify for national service. National security has played a large role throughout American history in the nutrition information published by the USDA. One of the publications was NFC-4, the National Wartime Nutrition Guide (1943). The USDA’s first publication was Food For Young Children which was authored by Caroline Hunt in 1916. The USDA is gearing up to release a revision to their Guidelines for Americans by the end of this year. Keep your eyes peeled!

Courtesy of USDA
Courtesy of USDA

Dorothy wrote an article about The Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010 back in July. Remember, the legislation expires September 30! If you care about how well our kids eat in school contact your representative today!

September 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm Leave a comment

Volunteer spotlight: Ina Cheatem


This month we’re featuring one of our most hardworking volunteers, Ina Cheatem, who has her own healthy cooking and personal chef business. Since joining OFL, she has done an Eating Right (with 20 people!) and is signed up to do another Eating Right later this month. She took some time out from her busy schedule to answer a few questions from us. Also check out Ina’s healthy dessert recipe for bread pudding below.

Q. Where do you live?
A. I live in Novi, MI

Q. I know you’re originally from Germany. When did you arrive in the U.S.? What brought you here?
A. I moved to the US almost 11 years ago. I met my American husband while he was stationed in Germany with the US Army at that time.

Q. What is your culinary background?
A. I have been passionate about cooking healthy food for more than 15 years. I always enjoyed delighting other people with healthy food creations and my strong urge to feed others ultimately led me to open my own personal chef company. During high school and college in Bielefeld, Germany, I was first exposed to the culinary industry while working for multiple restaurants and hotels in various positions, including a position with a local catering leader that provided culinary services for small (5000 people) events.

Q. I just saw on Facebook that your business is 1 year old. Can you talk about the ups and downs of launching your own healthy cooking and personal chef business? Why did you decide to launch this specific type of business?
A. I decided to open my own business last year, because I was unhappy with my “real” job and decided it was finally time to pursue my real passion – healthy cooking! People have always told me to make a business out of my love for cooking, and I did! Initially, things moved ahead very slowly, partially, because of the bad economy. However, this gave me the time I needed to set everything up properly (website, marketing materials, menus, agreements, etc) and slowly transition into my new venture, while still having the security of the regular job. It was a huge learning experience for me and mostly lots of fun, and maybe, sometimes, a little frustrating :) The best advise I can give to anyone that wants to turn their dream into reality is this: Follow your bliss and you will be surprised how many doors will open for you! Just be patient!

Q. When you have spare time, what do you like to do in terms of hobbies?
A. I love to read and spend time with my kids. Also, I love to workout daily: boxing, running, weight training, yoga, cardio, rock climbing….anything that challenges my body!

Q. What drew you to OFL and why did you want to volunteer?
A. As a strong advocate for healthy eating and good nutrition, I want to make a difference in my community by helping people eat and live better. My own experience with food insecurity and poverty is another reason why I am volunteering my time with OFL. It makes me happy to brighten someone’s day with cooking, even if it is just for the 2 hours a week that I am with them.

Q. You have completed an Eating Right with us. How did you like the experience? What did you like best about it?
A. Loved the experience! My class was great! Close to 20 fun people. I enjoyed sharing some of my knowledge with the group and truly loved spending every minute with them.

Q. You went with seven other OFL Detroit chefs to Washington, D.C. for Chefs Move To Schools launch event in June. Can you share a little bit with us about how that day went, what you learned and your impressions of hundreds of chefs coming together for this cause?
A. Wow, yes! That event was something else. Being part of such an important movement (ending childhood obesity) was a very powerful experience! In particular also because it was at the White House with the First Lady in attendance! The day was great. We attended a breakfast symposium in the morning before heading to the White House at noon. Before listening to Michelle Obama’s speech, we had the pleasure of meeting some really inspiring chefs that have already made some HUGE advances in improving the school lunch system in their communities. Other interesting visitors and guest speakers included: The White House Assistant Chef, The Secretary of Education, celebrity chefs from the Food Network, and more.

Q. Can you tell us a little about your Chefs Move to Schools progress? What school are you working with? What stage are you at?
A. Since my trip to DC, I have adopted the Novi Public School District. I am meeting with their Food Director this Friday (9/10) to discuss details of my involvement. Very excited to get started! First activities will probably focus on educational activities on the elementary school level, such as: food tastings, food demos, etc…we will take it from there.

Here is a budget-friendly healthy dessert recipe from Ina.

Harvest Bread Pudding
By Ina Cheatem
Serves 8-10

1 1/2 cups skim, soy, or almond milk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
4 egg whites
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
12 slices high-fiber or whole wheat bread, in 1/2 inch cubes
2/3 cup raisins
1 large apple, seeded, peeled, and shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Spray a 9X12 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Combine all ingredients, except bread and raisins. Mix well.
4. Add bread and raisins and let stand for 5 min. so bread can soak in the wet mixture.
5. Spoon mix into baking dish and bake for 30-40 min. or until nicely browned.
6. Let sit for 10-15 min. before serving.
7. Enjoy :)

September 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm 1 comment

Welcome to new AmeriCorps member James Hartrick

James started his AmeriCorps service Sept. 1.

Last week our new AmeriCorps member, James Hartrick, arrived and we’re happy to have him on board. That means he’ll be busy doing all of my work! Just kidding, James.

James lives in Royal Oak, where he was born and raised. He received a B.S. in Environmental Science while concentrating in Urban Planning. While at the University of Michigan he was a member of Amnesty International, Human Rights through Education, The Detroit Partnership, The Men’s Glee Club, and the Semester in Detroit Planning Team. With interests in food security and education plus a minor in peace and social justice, it’s no surprise he was drawn to Operation Frontline and AmeriCorps.

During his year of service he is eager to help us grow our program, saying he wants to be a part of that growth. Among the many responsibilities James will handle this year include coordinating classes, managing our inventory and creating videos.

Post-AmeriCorps he is interested in going back to school and pursuing either public policy, urban planning or law.

He is a soccer player and an avid music fan. His favorite genres of music are new wave, funk & soul, and hip hop, and his favorite band is Talking Heads. He enjoys the outdoors and loves living
Michigan due to the state’s abundance of fresh water, especially in the Great Lakes.

Welcome James!

September 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm 1 comment


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USDA Statement

This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This work is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99011. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Michigan Fitness Foundation or the Michigan Department of Human Services. In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, these institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more contact the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline at (855) ASK-MICH. Space-Limited USDA/DHS/MNN Credit Statement This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.

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