Leading the charge to replace pre-plated, processed foods with locally-grown, freshly-prepared meals is Tony Geraci, food-service director for the city's public schools. A charismatic chef from New Orleans, Geraci describes himself as a "little bit lunch lady, a lot P.T. Barnum." His bold vision includes school vegetable gardens, student-designed meals, meatless Monday's, and nutrition education in the classroom. His mission is as audacious as it is practical.
"This has never been done before," affirms Geraci, "but it makes perfect sense."
The film follows Tony Geraci as a central character, introducing audiences to the dynamic assortment of human ingredients necessary for reform efforts to succeed.
Among the protagonists in this story are parents, teachers, administrators, farmers, chefs, and dozens of creative and motivated students. Their collective efforts are proof positive that a 'village' is indeed required to transform school food.
Over the course of two years, the film traces efforts to make healthy, nutritious meals available to all the city's students. Viewers watch as inner city youth plant and harvest vegetables at the school system's 33-acre teaching farm. They witness what it takes to get local produce on school plates. And they watch as high school seniors develop practical job skills through a new citywide culinary vocational training program.
"If Tony makes this happen here the way he wants to, I think you'll see this happening all over the country," says best-selling author and food activist Michael Pollan in the film.