Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links which means I earn from qualifying purchases. I recommend these products either because I use them or because companies that make them are trustworthy and useful.

In 2020, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in the U.S. went through a ton of changes, some of which were because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and food service directors faced significant financial challenges, were forced to change the foods on the menu and how they distributed meals to kids. In episode 2, we took a deep dive into these issues with Colin Schwartz from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. In this episode, I spoke with Brandy Dreibelbis, director of school food operations at the Chef Ann Foundation, about what schools and food service directors have to had to contend with through COVID-19 and the 2020-21 school year. We also talked about universal school meals and what we can expect from the Biden Administration. 


1:51 How the USDA’s COVID-19 waivers and other flexibilities affected schools and food service directors. 
4:16 What has the affect been on the nutrition of school meals?
6:44 What have schools had to contend with financially during COVID-19?
9:02 For kids who have school lunch delivered to the classroom, are they more likely to eat the meals?
10:04 Why were staffing cuts necessary and how has it affected schools? 
13:18 How have the changes disproportionally affected underserved communities?
16:10  What are the differences between a self-operating and outsourced food service program? 
18:16 What can parents do to advocate for scratch cooking in their district when it’s more expensive?
20:40 The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 made a lot of positive changes to school meals, but one of the criticisms was that kids weren’t necessarily eating the food. Can kids accept and love healthy foods they’re being served at school even if they’re not eating that way at home?
24:18 Congress introduced a bill to introduce universal school meals. Is it necessary and why? 
26:11 What is the history and mission of the Chef Ann Foundation?
26:56 How can parents learn more and advocate for healthier school meals? 


Chef Ann Foundation
The Lunch Box 
Fresh Food Matters Video with Chef Ann Cooper


The Dinner Daily review

The Dinner Daily is a one-of-a-kind, weekly, personalized dinner planning service that makes getting dinner on the table every night easy and affordable for busy families. 

Founded by a working mom of 3, The Dinner Daily answers the “what’s for dinner” question, helps families eat healthy, and save money and time. 

Members receive complete meal plans and an organized grocery shopping list customized according to their food preferences, dietary needs, family size, and weekly specials at more than 16,000 grocery stores across the U.S. to help them save money. 

Meal plans can be customized for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, heart-healthy, and more. The service also provides one-click ordering at Kroger stores nationwide and select Stop & Shop stores in the Northeast. 

The Dinner Daily  has been featured in Rachael Ray Every Day and Working Mother magazines. 

Memberships are as low as $4/a month and new members get a free, 2-week trial. Go to TheDinnerDaily.com and use code “HEALTH15” to receive 15% off. 

Food Issues
Food Issues
Julie Revelant

With hundreds of thousands of Americans dying each year from obesity, type-2 diabetes, and a slew of chronic health conditions—all a direct result of food inequities, a broken food culture, and food marketing, and worsened by COVID-19, a significant shift in how we think about food and how we feed our kids must happen now if we want to change the trajectory of health for our kids. Food Issues hosted by health journalist and blogger Julie Revelant features interviews with authors, researchers, healthy food advocates, and thought leaders who want to educate, inspire, and empower organizations, parents, and local communities to create real, lasting change and ensure a healthier future for our kids. Through profound conversations that uncover the real issues affecting families coupled with easy, practical tips for parents, this podcast is the place to change our kids’ futures.

Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.