Can Berkeley’s School Lunch Initiative save our childrens health and ignite a national movement rooted in community values?
We believe so.
Two years ago, we began working on Open Minds Open Mouths, a one-hour documentary film about the Berkeley School Lunch Initiative. and the plan remains to complete the long-form version within the next twelve months.
But since The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act is coming up in Congress this year we are seizing the moment and using the power of great storytelling to create (8) short webisodes right now -- from our existing media assets which we have shot over the last 18 months.
This is what we call an “open space documentary” project -- a work-in-progress experiment - adapting and responding to online media creation, tapping our social networks as backers, and reaching out to new users and audiences to get inspired and get involved.
Collaborating with the production team at Citizen Film in San Francisco, we are making bite-size web-based stories of vision, passion and action that will easily and freely travel around the internet to build awareness of the importance of supporting and developing healthy and nutritious school lunch programs for all American children. (Citizen Film is a non-profit organization so your contribution is tax-deductible!)
They will show how, in Berkeley, an economically and ethnically diverse community of cooks, educators, parents, health advocates, politicians and food vendors has persisted over a decade to reinvent school lunch – and successfully integrate it into an innovative cooking and gardening curriculum throughout the K-12 system.
With your backing, we will produce the (8) webisodes, and launch the Lunch Love Community: Stories for Changing the Way Our Kids Eat campaign live online by early summer 2010.
Your personal investment will also allow us to freely share the webisodes with anyone, anywhere, who wants to use them, and put a human face on food policy reform.
In a moment when education budgets are being cut, obesity is a major problem, and food insecurity is growing across the country, these little documentary glimpses into the Berkeley School Lunch program – one that is working remarkably well --can inspire people to change the way children are eating in their own communities.
The short stories will also help us build an awareness and interest community for the one-hour Open Minds Open Mouths film when it is completed and ready for release.
Since starting the film project, we have built strong and deep relationships throughout the East Bay Area school communities and beyond, with PTAs, with local chefs and food vendors, with foundations like the Chez Panisse Foundation, the Food Family Farming Foundation, and Chef Ann Cooper’s major, national network of food reform activists and supporters. We are bringing together a local “Producer’s Circle” of individuals who are passionate about children and food, and are willing and able to spread the word about this project.
All of our local supporters are truly energized about school lunch reform, and have told us that they would be eager to cultivate their own networks for the webisode campaign. And beyond – well, we will work hard to spread the word of mouth, and make the most arresting and memorable web stories we possibly can.
Food, love and children. It’s what Open Minds, Open Mouths is about, and why it is such a pleasure and an adventure to imagine such a wonderful and workable way to do new things and make a difference.
- (89 days)