Webinar: Increasing Scratch-Cooked Food in Schools

 View a recording of this Feb. 16 follow-up discussion here

 February 2, 2017 Coffee Talk Overview

Lindsey Parsons, Founder and Coordinator of Healthy School Food Maryland, discussed the coalition’s first release of School Food Environment Grades for the 24 public school districts in Maryland and how they hope those grades will move Maryland schools towards more local procurement, salad bars, scratch cooking, and other best practices in school food service. Rodney Taylor, award-winning Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), shared from his wealth of experience, strategies, successes, and challenges related to increasing local foods, salad bars, and scratch cooking within school systems. Link to our google drive for more information!


Lindsey Parsons is the Founder and Coordinator of Healthy School Food Maryland, a coalition of organizations and businesses working for whole, real, local and safe foods for children in Maryland school cafeterias. Lindsey is also Co-Founder and Executive Director of Real Food for Kids – Montgomery, a parent and student advocacy group promoting real, whole, local, sustainable and nutrient-rich foods in the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. Lindsey Parsons has BA in French from Wesleyan University, an MA in Romance Linguistics from University of Texas at Austin and a Doctor of Education from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

Rodney K. Taylor is the Director of Food and Nutrition Services of Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools. He has 40 years of experience in the food service industry, having worked in college and university, fast-food, dining, management consultant, and school food service administration. Through Rodney’s vast amount of experience, knowledge and education, he has been able to give testimony to government agencies, elected officials, and has served as a consultant, public speaker, presenter, and instructor on various food related issues.

A noted pioneer, and expert in farm-to-school salad bars, he is particularly known for establishing the “Farmers’ Market Salad Bar” (FMSB) program in 1997, while working as Director of Food and Nutrition Services in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, in Santa Monica, California.

Rodney is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. In 2013 he received the Center for Ecoliteracy’s “ Leadership Award”, The California Endowment’s “Health Heroes” Award, Loma Linda University Award for “The Promotion Of Healthy Lifestyles—For Outstanding Commitment To The Public’s Health,” The Riverside Human Relations Commission “Heroes Award” and the N.A.A.C.P. “Education Award,” just to name a few.

 Rodney has served on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, the University of California (UC) President’s Advisory Commission for Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well
as the Network for a Healthy California’s Executive Committee.

Background Materials