CPS students cook for Congress

March 2, 2010 5:21:35 PM PST
Students from a Southwest Side school are cooking up change on Capitol Hill Tuesday. They are hoping to have some influence in getting healthier lunches in Chicago Public Schools.

Six culinary students from Tilden Career Academy high School posed for pictures and then it was time to get to work.

The students spent the morning slicing and dicing fresh vegetables that would be served at a congressional hearing about the Child Nutrition Act which would allocate more money for healthy school lunches.

"The additional resources for school food that are called for in the president's budget go a long way toward making the delicious and healthful meals prepared for cooking up change a regular addition to school menus," said Rochelle Davis, healthy schools campaign.

Last October, the students won a competition among 15 Chicago Public Schools. Their challenge was to create a healthy meal for $2.68 per serving -- the same amount currently spent on CPS lunches.

"Our winning meal with chicken jambalaya with jalapeno cornbread and a cucumber salad on the side," said Aljibri Reed, Tilden Career Academy.

Those attending Tuesday's briefing, organized by Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Jan Schakowski, got to sample the meal. Karen Duncan, wife of secretary of education Arne Duncan, was a co-chair of the event.

"It's a terrific example for other cities because it is a huge district," said said Duncan. "So basically, if they can do it in Chicago, they really can do it anywhere."