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MCCC Faculty Chefs Part of White House Launch
to End Childhood Obesity


West Windsor, NJ: For Doug Fee, coordinator of Mercer County Community College's Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management Program (HRIM), June 4 was a day like no other. Fee was among the nation's culinary professionals invited to the White House to launch "Chefs Move to Schools," a grassroots initiative in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" national campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.

Share Our Strength (SOS), the nation's leading organization working to end childhood hunger, kicked off the day by hosting a welcome breakfast at the JW Marriott Hotel. Opening remarks by White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and SOS Founder and Executive Director Bill Shore were followed by

MCCC Associate Professor Doug Fee, left, and Adjunct Faculty Member Bill Beyer, were among hundreds of culinary professionals invited to the White House June 4 for First Lady Michelle Obama's new initiative to end childhood obesity.

speakers Janet Poppendieck, professor of sociology at Hunter College and author of Free for All: Fixing School Food in America, and Ellen Teller, director of Government Affairs at the Food Research and Action Center.

Next, the proceedings moved to the White House South Lawn for the First Lady's address. She spoke of the importance of everyone working together to serve nutritious meals, and the need for bipartisan support of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act.

"It was great to hear from our First Lady and to talk with colleagues across the country about ways to provide cost-effective, healthy meal programs for youngsters," said Fee, who was accompanied to the event by HRIM adjunct faculty member Bill Beyer. The two are involved in teaching good nutrition to children served by New Jersey Tennis & Learning in Trenton, a group dedicated to working with overweight children and their parents. With the children in mind, Fee asked for and was given a case of paper chef's hats from the event to take back to Trenton for them. "It's all about educating the kids and their families," said Fee.

Mercer's chefs also chatted with industry leaders and celebrity chefs such as Food Network's Ellie Krieger and Iron Chef Cat Cora, the latter having been featured in a promotional event June 2 with MCCC's Hospitality Club students in Hamilton.

"The trip to the White House was a surreal experience," said Fee, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who holds a bachelor's degree from the University of New Haven and a master's from Thomas Edison State College. "There is so much synergy to get things moving in the right direction. We are motivated and excited."

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