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LA School District Turns Down Jamie Oliver’s School Lunch Help

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In a sad turn of events for kids in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the L.A. Times reports that Jamie Oliver’s offer to help to make school food healthier has been turned down. Oliver is the British chef most recently known for his Food Revolution series, where he and his crew worked for five months to change the school lunch menu and residents’ relationship with food in Huntington, West Virginia, once labeled the fattest city in the U.S. Prior to that, Oliver spearheaded a healthy school lunch campaign in the UK.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is still slated to move to L.A. for its second season, and ABC has posted a casting call for families with kids who could use Oliver’s help revamping their eating habits. But according to an October 25th letter, signed by Melissa Infusino, the director of partnerships in the superintendent’s office, taking part in the show would be too time-consuming, and the school district believes its “direct work with nutrition experts, health advocates, the community, schools and students is the most effective strategy for… continued success and improvement.”

In addition to helping reform Huntington’s eating habits (pizza as breakfast for schoolkids?), it’s undeniable that it made for good (and inspirational -- ok, I’ll even admit to crying while watching!) television. It certainly got people talking about the obesity epidemic among children.

Parents, would you welcome Jamie Oliver into your child’s school district? Are the lunches served by your child’s school healthy or horrifying?

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