The Healthy Lunch Bunch
Five award-winning Chicago high school students urge Congress to say goodbye to pizza, sloppy joes and fries—and hello to healthier, tastier fare like chicken-vegetable jambalayajalapeño cornbread and cucumber salad.
Students from Tilden present their meal.
On March 2, 2010, five students from Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago visited the U.S. Capitol. But they didn't come empty-handed.

The students brought along a spread of chicken-vegetable jambalaya, jalapeño cornbread and cucumber salad. The recipes, which they had developed in their school's culinary program, won the 2009 Cooking Up Change competition.

Cooking Up Change is an annual contest sponsored by the Healthy Schools Campaign that challenges students in Chicago Public Schools to develop a healthy lunch menu.

Since first lady Michelle Obama's announcement of her fight against childhood obesity, the intersection of health and education has moved to the front of the national debate. The Healthy Schools Campaign has been leading that fight for years with advocacy and policy proposals.

The winners from Tilden went to Washington, D.C., to serve their meal and lend their voices to the call for funding for better school meals.

Here, student chefs Lashonda Livingston, Aljibri Reed, Henry Walton, Cari Smith and Jakaia Franklin prepare to present their winning healthy school lunch at a briefing on Capitol Hill.