Mission

FoodFight’s mission is to revolutionize the way we eat and think about food.

Using schools as a platform, FoodFight arms teachers, students, parents and school staff with the tools and knowledge they need to make healthier choices and become role models and agents of change for their families and communities.

THE NEED

As long time public educators we watched our students come to school everyday with their bags of chips and cans of soda. We experienced first hand the terrible impact that this nutritionally bankrupt diet had not only on their health, but also on their ability to focus and succeed in school. Almost all of our students spoke of serious cases of obesity, diabetes and other diet related diseases in their families. Through our students’ experiences, a story emerged of a society that is overfed yet undernourished, one in which individuals struggle with a food and health crisis but lack the awareness and knowledge necessary to make healthier choices.

 

OUR SOLUTION

We believe that awareness, education, and action are three critical elements in combating America’s health crisis. We also believe that schools should be at the forefront of this campaign to transform our nation’s eating habits and lead us towards a more healthful and sustainable future. As part of this mission, we have designed a food literacy toolkit that provides Wellness Champions with all the resources they need, including a unique food literacy curriculum for teachers, students, parents and school staff that moves beyond traditional Nutrition 101 to address questions of food politics, critical consumership, and media literacy.

WHY EDUCATION?

Knowledge = Power

Traditional nutrition education has proven that waving broccoli in someone’s face and saying “You must eat this!” does not result in successful or sustainable behavior or attitude changes. That’s why we take a 3-step approach to give people information, tools, ownership and agency. This empowers them to act, and inspires them to adopt healthier habits for themselves and their families.

 

 

 

Press

Click here to view press about FoodFight...

Radio MD: Food Fight in the Classroom
Prevent Obesity: From The Inside Track: Teaching Beyond "Eat Your Veggies"
The Motley Fool: Socially Responsible Investing Meets Food
Today's Dietician: Healthful School Lunches — Are the New Standards All They’re Cracked up to Be?
Good: Revolutionizing The Way We Think About Food
Huffington Post: Transformation of Minds, Not Just Palates
Food Sleuth radio show: The push to improve the unhealthy food in school cafeterias

Team

STAFF

Deb Headshot_0

Dr. Deborah Lewison-Grant,
Co-Founder, Executive Director

Deborah earned her Doctorate degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College Columbia University where she also graduated with a dual Masters in Deaf Education and English. Before teaching in several NYC public high schools, Deborah worked for the National Center for Restructuring Education Schools and Teaching (NCREST) researching and analyzing the benefits of small schools for at-risk teenagers.  She lives in New York City with her husband and her two own little FoodFighters.

Carolyn Cohen, Co-Founder

Carolyn joined the founding staff of the Institute for Collaborative Education in 1998 and played a key role in helping to transform ICE into a rigorous, competitive and sought after public middle and high school. At ICE, Carolyn served as the Head of the Humanities Department, the Director of Admissions and liaison to the Consortium of Alternative High Schools in New York City. As the Director of the Senior Internship Program, she worked with hundreds of ICE students to match, mentor, and support them through their internship experience across multiple partners throughout the city. Carolyn graduated from Brown University, holds a Masters in Education from the New School For Social Research, and recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she received her Health Coach Certification from the Association for Drugless Practitioners.

Michelle Kim, Director of Operations

Michelle transitioned from finance to the nonprofit sector in 2012, when she joined The Father's Heart as Operations Manager. Previously, she served as Vice President of Product Management at Deutsche Bank. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Michelle held a number of roles at OppenheimerFunds and Morgan Stanley. She holds a BA in psychology from Smith College and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. She has previously served on the Young Professionals Network for Open Hands Legal Services and the Leadership Council for the Beginning with Children Foundation.

James Evans, Graphic Designer

James is a freelance designer based in New York. Born and raised in the UK, he has a Masters degree in Geology from University College London, which led to an earlier career as an Environmental Scientist, working on projects such as the London Olympics. His change in career to Design and Illustration was driven by his love to create, with a passion for clean, clear and engaging content.  

BOARD

beth kasden picture_0Beth Kasden, Secretary

Beth Kasden is the Director of Business Development at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she oversees marketing and business development for the firm's corporate and financial restructuring practices. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College and lives in New York City.

Sunil profile picture_cropped bw 3_0

Sunil Kapadia

Sunil is an SVP at MediaLink, a boutique consulting firm focused in the media and technology industries. He advises brands, publishers, technology startups, and investors on strategy and business development. Prior to BCG Sunil spent six years at The Boston Consulting Group where he was a core member of the firm’s consumer and media practices. Early in his career, Sunil managed large-scale software development initiatives at several Silicon Valley companies, including Walmart eCommerce, EXP Systems, and Intel Corporation. Sunil holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Headshot (1)_0

Therese Nadler, MS, RDN, CDN

Therese is a certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Masters in Nutrition and Public Health from Teachers College Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan. She has been working in corporate wellness, providing nutrition counseling and wellness coaching since she graduated from her Masters program at Columbia.

joe gallitano picture_0

Joe Gallitano, Treasurer 

Joe currently works for Partners Group, a global private markets firm. He previously worked at Goldman Sachs and American Express, both in Chicago. His charitable work includes the Green City Market (local Chicago farmers market) and UCAN, providing education and support to youth who have suffered trauma in Chicago’s poorer communities.

Paul2_0

Paul Angell

Paul is an English qualified lawyer and New York foreign legal consultant. He previously practiced as a project finance lawyer in the UK and the US, before moving into banking in 2013. Paul is currently a Director at Barclays Bank in the Risk Analytics and Index Solutions division. He is responsible for commercial strategy in the Americas and advises the business on various issues including monetization initiatives, business development, licensing and regulatory arrangements. Paul holds a LLB Law degree and Legal Practicing Certificate from the University of Birmingham in England, and is a General Securities Representative in New York.

 

ADVISORY BOARD

Catherine Gund

Catherine Gund, the founder of Aubin Pictures, is an Emmy Award-nominated producer, director, writer and organizer. Her media work focuses on arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, and other social justice issues. Gund's most recent project, What's On Your Plate?, is a witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and is accompanied by a website, curriculum and family workbook. Over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Currently in distribution to schools across the country and available for streaming on Netflix, the film was broadcast on Discovery's Planet Green. Whole Foods and Chipotle, among others, have partnered with Aubin Pictures to organize community screenings nationwide.

Dr. Robert Lustig

Robert H. Lustig, MD is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist, with basic and clinical training relative to hypothalamic development, anatomy, and function. Dr. Lustig's research focuses on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. He is currently investigating the contribution of nutritional, neural, hormonal, and genetic influences in the expression of the current obesity epidemic both in children and adults. Dr. Lustig graduated from MIT in 1976, and received his MD from Cornell University Medical College in 1980. He completed his pediatric residency at St. Louis Children's Hospital in 1983, and his clinical fellowship at UCSF in 1984. From there, he spent six years as a research associate in neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Lustig is the past Chairman of the Ad hoc Obesity Task Force of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, a current member of the Obesity Task Force of The Endocrine Society, a member of the Steering Committee of the International Endocrine Alliance to Combat Obesity and of the Culinary Institute of America, and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association of the Bay Area. He is the author of many articles, chapters, and reviews on childhood obesity, including the recent volume "Obesity before birth".

Michael A. Rebell

Michael A. Rebell is the Executive Director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is an experienced litigator in the field of education law, and he is also Professor Law and Educational Practice at Teachers College and Columbia Law School. Rebell has received a great deal of recognition for his work in education law, and on the CFE litigation in particular. In 2003, the New York Times ran a profile of Rebell in its "Public Lives" series. He attended Harvard College as an undergraduate and subsequently served in the Peace Corps for two years in Sierra Leone. After returning from the Peace Corps, he attended Yale Law School.

Maggie Jacobs

Maggie Jacobs is the Director of Educational Programs for the New York Public Library. In this role, she supervises support services to the New York City Department of Education and after-school and public programming throughout the branch system. Previously Ms. Jacobs was VP of Development for 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now, an education advocacy organization working to close the achievement gap by reforming the public school system. Prior to this position, she worked as the Director of Youth Initiatives at the American Museum of Natural History. In this capacity, Jacobs restructured the museum's out-of-school programming to establish a Pre-K through college science pipeline with an emphasis on attracting under-resourced youth to the sciences. Ms. Jacobs transitioned into the education sector by founding and running a comprehensive after-school program in Harlem for public middle and high school students. Prior to this, she served as an assistant district attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney's office and spent a few years as a corporate litigator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, and degrees in law and public policy from Columbia Law School and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.

Scott Stringer

A native New Yorker, Mr. Stringer is the 26th Manhattan Borough President. Since taking office at the start of 2006, he has dedicated himself to making Manhattan more affordable, livable and breathable. Stringer's community-based approach also has succeeded in accelerating New York's urban greening effort. The borough president has launched "Go Green" campaigns in three Manhattan neighborhoods – East Harlem, the Lower East Side, and Washington Heights – to improve residents' health, and to serve as a model for other environmentally neglected neighborhoods. East Harlem now has new farmers' markets, a growing number of street trees, and its own Go Green cookbook. Prior to being elected borough president, Stringer served for thirteen years in the State Assembly, where he authored legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, led the successful fight to end "empty-seat voting" in Albany, and voted against every attempt to weaken rent regulations. The New York Times credited him as having "a sterling reputation as a catalyst for reform."

INTERNS

If you are interested in interning or volunteering with FoodFight, please contact us at info@foodfight.org.