YOUNGSTOWN — Tascin Brooks, Youngstown City School District food service coordinator, will travel to Washington, D.C., March 8-10 for the Legislative Action Conference to advocate for students’ nutritional needs.
She said she’s looking forward to the trip.
“This is an awesome opportunity to work face to face with legislators who pass the bills that mandate how we serve our scholars nutritionally each day,” Brooks said in a news release. “This gives me the opportunity to advocate on the scholars’ behalf to meet their nutritional needs that are so important at this stage of their lives.”
Brooks applied for and received a paid scholarship from the Lake Erie School Nutrition and Directors Chapter 43, Northeast Ohio School Nutrition Association of Ohio, to attend the conference.
“I am fortunate to be able to change even one scholar’s life by introducing new foods, fruits and vegetables that could become part of a lifetime pattern,” she said. “Legislators need to hear from the people who serve in the front of the school food-service industry daily about the struggles and successes. We want to help them make informed decisions when it comes to our industry.”
Conference attendees will learn about legislative issues affecting child nutrition programs and have the opportunity to meet with elected representatives on Capitol Hill.
“The school nutrition professionals I will be joining have had great success in the past with legislators listening to the challenges we face and changing some of the laws,” Brooks said.
Some of those changes include flexibility on meal patterns and intensive, cumbersome review schedules that take the nutrition professionals away from day to day meal creativity.
“I look forward to sharing positive things as well with the legislators, like the success we have had with farm-to-school efforts in conjunction with the Lake to River Co-op, bringing local apples [to] scholars from local farmers, the startup of salad bars in Chaney and East high schools and bringing fresh vegetables and fruits to the kindergarten through eighth-grade buildings,” Brooks said.