FOE, Tisch Food Center end “Greening School Food”

Friends of the Earth and Tisch Food Center convene “Greening School Food” experts in northeast regional forum in Albany

School food and nonprofit leaders share successful strategies for serving kids healthy, climate-friendly, plant-forward food

ALBANY, N.Y. – On Thursday, May 9, Friends of the Earth, Tisch Food Center and local and national partners, including University at Albany, will host a forum on climate-friendly school food at the University at Albany’s Campus Center. The event brings together more than 80 K-12 school food service directors, nutrition services staff, sustainability coordinators, nonprofits and parents for a forum on healthy, sustainable food service.

This cost-effective approach to school food focuses on plant-based menus, reduced food waste and innovative educational and student engagement strategies. Following New York City’s recent announcement to implement Meatless Mondays and slash red meat purchases by 50 percent in its school system, the event is designed to share best practices from across the northeast region for improving school menus for better health outcomes and reduced climate impacts.

WHAT: Greening School Food: A Northeast Forum on Climate-Friendly School Food


  • Beth Krause, R.D. — director of child nutrition, Ithaca City School District
  • Pam Koch — executive director and research associate professor, Tisch Food Center, Program in Nutrition, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Stephen O’Brien — director of strategic partnerships, NYC Department of Education Office of School Food
  • Bill Whitcomb Jr. — compliance director, Whitsons Culinary Group (fourth largest food service management company serving K-12 schools in the U.S.)
  • Dr. Milton Mills, M.D. — associate director of preventive medicine with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
  • Kari Hamerschlag — deputy director, food and agriculture, Friends of the Earth
  • Mary Ellen Mallia — director of sustainability, University at Albany
  • Mellissa Honeywood, R.D. — director of food and nutrition services, Cambridge Public Schools


For a complete list of presenters, see the Eventbrite page.

Interviews are available with speakers and organizers upon request.

Media are invited to attend. Please RSVP to Jen Dalton at [email protected]

WHERE: University at Albany Campus Center, 1400 Washington Avenue, Ballroom, Albany, NY 12206

WHEN: Thursday, May 9, 2019, 8:15 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EDT

Leading food service directors from northeast school districts will share best practices for making shifts toward climate-friendly, plant-based menus and waste reduction in their cafeterias. National and regional nonprofits will discuss resources and map out strategies and policy reforms that are needed for scaling up climate-friendly school food. This forum will build on existing local and regional efforts to make school meals healthier, local and more sustainable, including New York’s recent announcement to bring Meatless Monday to all of its schools.

A new report from Friends of the Earth, Scaling Up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success, will be featured. This is the third in a series of regional forums aimed at building a national movement to leverage the immense food purchasing power of schools (which serve seven billion meals a year) to measurably reduce climate emissions and generate better health outcomes. 

The event is co-sponsored by One Meal a Day for the Planet, the Humane Society of the United States’ Food Forward initiative, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Coalition for Healthy School Food, Chef Ann Foundation, Meatless Monday, Tisch Food Center, A Well-Fed World, VegFund and University at Albany.

Expert contact: Kari Hamerschlag, (510) 207-7257, [email protected]
Communications contact:
Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, [email protected]

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