Countless children face a lifetime of health-related issues based on access to nutritious food. Our schools are on the front line of driving that access, and on educating children in the cafeteria and beyond about healthy choices. This third annual conference brings together all the essential stakeholders for a spirited discussion of common concerns and action steps that can mobilize all of us equally.

Speakers and attendees include school food professionals, parents, policy and wellness advocates, and officials and academicians in the fields of law, nutrition, public health and education.

“Healthy Food Fuels Hungry Minds" is presented with the objective of enabling participants to make our kids’ nutrition the best in the nation by creating an environment both in and out of school where great nutrition is fostered and valued and healthy choices, including healthy beverages and clean, drinkable water, are always the easiest ones.

Featuring Keynote addresses from:

Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University

Betti Wiggins, CPM, SNS, Executive Director of Food Services, Detroit Public Schools

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:30am to 5:30pm

Topics include:

The Politics of (School) Food

Key Focus Areas for Child Health In and Out of School with a Spotlight on Sugar Sweetened

Beverages and Increasing Access to Drinking Water

Marketing Food to Kids – Psychology and Behavior, Social Media, Point of Sale and Increasing Participation

Chef Demonstrations of School Food Recipes/Menus & Lunch: A Conversation on School Food in the City

Current Outlook on Food Policy & Funding In and Out of Schools

Increasing Breakfast Participation

School Wellness Committee Engagement

Fringe School Food – After School, Nights, Weekends, Summers, and Alternative Operations

Understanding School Food Funding for Non-School Nutrition Directors

Getting to the State House – Turning Ideas into Policy


9:00am – Welcome (Louisa Kasdon & David Martin)

9:15am – Taxing Sugar, Why and How (Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University)

10:15am – The School Food Environment: The Dietary and Health Effects of School Meal Standards, Fresh F&V Programs and Competitive Food Standards (Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, Dean Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy)

11:00am – Break

11:15am – Marketing Food to Kids - Psychology and Behavior, Social Media, POS, Increasing Participation (Steve Gortmaker, Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology. Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health)

12:15 – Chef Demonstrations of School Food Recipes/Menus & Lunch

1:15pm – A Conversation on Big City School Food (Betti Wiggins, Officer of Nutrition Services, Houston Independent School District; with Laura Benavidez, Executive Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Boston Public Schools)

2:15pm – Breakout Sessions Round 1 of Successful/Best Practices

  • Fringe School Food - after school, nights, weekends, and alt operations (Joanne Lennon, Food Service Director, Chicopee Public Schools; April Laskey, Food Service Director, Billerica Public Schools; Lynn Petrowski, Food Service Director, Hanover Public Schools; Lauren Cook/Grace Lichaa and Jeffery Greenberg- Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston)

  • Current Outlook on Food Policy & Funding in and out of schools (Emma Clippinger, Clinical Fellow, Food Law & Policy Clinic, Harvard Law School)

  • Teaching Health Habits in Schools that Carry out of the Classroom/Culinary Literacy (Janice Watt, SNS, Food Service Director, Foxborough Public Schools; Jeanne Reilly, Food Service Director, Windham Raymond Maine Schools; Laurent Adamowicz, Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation)

3:00pm – Breakout Sessions Round 2 of Successful/Best Practices

  • Changing Perceptions & Attitudes About School Food: Helping advocates and champions understand both the challenges but also the ways they can HELP their school food program tout their successes (Janice Watt, SNS, Food Service Director, Foxborough Public Schools; Mara Fleishman, CEO, Chef Ann Foundation)

  • Increasing Breakfast Participation, The Massachusetts School Breakfast Report Card (Andrea Silbert, President, Eos Foundation)

  • Understanding school food funding for non-SN Directors (Maria Hall, Food Service Director, Walpole Public Schools; Jeanne Sheridan, Food Service Director, Acushnet & Blackstone Schools; Kristin Morello, Food Service Director, Reading & Wakefield Schools)

  • School Wellness Committee Engagement (Sandra Widland, Parent; Rob Leshin, Director of Nutrition Programs, MA Dept of Education; Deb Spinelli, Superintendent, Foxborough Public Schools; Liz Murphy, Principal, Sharon Public Schools)

4:00pm – Getting to the State House - Turning Ideas into Policy

  • Senator Jason Lewis, Democrat - Fifth Middlesex

  • Allyson Perron Drag - Senior Government Relations Director, American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

  • Catherine D’Amato - President & CEO, The Greater Boston Food Bank

4:45pm – "Town Hall" Discussion: Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax Discussion – Where should the money go? How can we all be involved?

5:30pm – Close