Food Task Force
Welcome, and thanks for your interest in the Urban Food Task Force at GW! The Urban Food Task Force is an initiative of George Washington faculty, students, staff, and volunteers who share an interest in healthy eating, sustainable food production, and food policy.
The Urban Food Task Force celebrated Food Day on October 24 with a weeklong series of events.
It started with GW’s annual Apple Day festivities: at 12:15 everyone paused campus-wide to take a bite out of a local, healthy apple. Chef Jose Andres joined for the festivities. GWorld partners met in U-Yard to share samples of healthy food items to be offered during Food Week as part of the Healthy Passport Challenge. Later Dr. David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner, gave a public lecture at the Jack Morton Auditorium on “The end of overeating” and students from DCPS School Without Walls attended the lecture as part of a classroom assignment after reading Dr. Kessler’s book.
Later, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Michel Nischan, gave a talk on Food and Community and provided the audience with more information about his organization’s work with farmers’ markets.
The Gelman library had a special display of cookbooks from the library of Sheilah Kaufman which highlighted food and nutrition books for the GW community to check out.
On the VSTC, an exhibit of local artists’ interpretations of Loudoun County’s heartland and farms was displayed in Enterprise Hall.
On Saturday October 26, twenty volunteers gathered at Deanwood Recreation Center in DC’s Ward 7 to sponsor a pop-up produce donation event. University Chef Rob Donis gave a healthy cooking demonstration. 118 bags of produce were provided to families at the event co-sponsored with the Food Justice Alliance and with support by local produce companies Blue Ridge Produce, Keany Produce, Sodexo, Body Fuel Nutrition, and others. DC Council Member Yvette Alexander attended the event, took photographs and spoke with constituents and volunteers.
Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), Special Rep. Jonathan Shrier, and GW professors Uri Colon-Ramos and Tony Castleman held a panel discussion on the domestic and global implications of food security, following a screening of the film “A Place at the Table.” The discussion was moderated by GW professor Kim Robien.
Civic Engagement events were also held at DC Central Kitchen and Miriam’s Kitchen; both events provided opportunities to prepare meals for the community and work for the greater good.
The final event was a healthy Halloween themed dinner for the top participants in the Healthy Eating Passport Challenge. President Knapp and Diane Robinson Knapp hosted students and staff members who actively played the smartphone app. Through the app, they tried new restaurants and foods, volunteered, and heard academic presentations throughout the week.
Food Day Stories
The former FDA commissioner discussed how to end overeating and obesity in the United States.
The Food Day event provided fresh produce to more than 100 families in D.C.