The announcement came during an action-packed event in Dallas’ Kleberg/Rylie Recreation Center on Friday. Students from a local elementary school came together with the First Lady, White House Chef Sam Kass, former Top Chef contestants, and members of the Dallas Cowboys for an afternoon of healthy menu challenges.
Chefs Move to Schools is an extension of the USDA’s HealthierUS Schools (HUSS) program, which sets nutrition and activity guidelines for schools to strive towards. Over 2,800 schools now participate in HUSS, up from just over 600 before Let’s Move! began in 2010. So far, more than 3,400 local chefs have volunteered through the program, an impressive number that the First Lady hopes to expand upon. “There are so many chefs that want to get involved,” the First Lady explained, “they just need to know how to link up with the school and how to work with them. The website is going to do just that.”
Chefs can connect with schools by setting up a profile on the website and selecting a project to work on. Existing models include planting a garden, teaching children in the classroom, developing a school lunch menu, and teaching the staff new culinary skills. There are also several video success stories, along with tips on how chefs can help schools meet HUSS requirements while having a fulfilling volunteer experience.
The First Lady hopes that expanding the Let’s Move! program with Chefs Move to Schools will help children across the country experience nutritious and enjoyable foods, while simultaneously teaching students and staff about healthy eating and meal preparation. She said, “I think the point in our decision is that when you’ve got great chefs paired with kids that are enthusiastic, and you’ve got schools that care, everybody is a winner."