How hard can it be to deliver fresh, nutritious school meals under the federal reimbursement rate and within government regulations that kids will actually eat?
ENTREPRENEUR AND PHILANTHROPIST JILL SHAH STEPS IN TO WORK WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO REDESIGN SCHOOL FOOD AND GET BOSTON COOKING FOR BOSTON; A PROTOTYPE THAT SHE BELIEVES CAN BE REPLICATED ACROSS THE NATION.
EAT UP IS THE STORY OF THAT ENDEAVOR. THE FILM FOLLOWS A PILOT PROJECT THAT SHOWS EXACTLY HOW HARD IT IS FOR BIG BUREAUCRACIES TO MAKE CHANGE, HOW BIG IDEAS DEPEND ON THE “LITTLE PEOPLE” ON THE GROUND, IN THIS CASE THE LUNCH LADIES, AND THAT ALTHOUGH EVERYONE MAY HAVE THE SAME GOOD INTENTIONS, DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES CAN LEAD TO CONFLICT AND CONFUSION ALONG THE WAY.
THE INITIATIVE iS DRIVEN BY WOMEN: A HEADSTRONG ENTREPRENEUR, A WELL INTENTIONED BUREAUCRAT, AN IMPASSIONED PRINCIPAL, AND A fast talking, no nonsense CAFETERIA MANAGER WHO LEADS HER TEAM OF LUNCH LADIES AS THE order unravels AROUND THEM. WE FOLLOW THEIR JOURNEY AS THEY LAUGH AND CRY, AS THEY DECONSTRUCT AND THEN RECONSTRUCT A SYSTEM THAT IS SO DEEPLY ENTRENCHED AND HAS SO MANY DEPENDING ON ITS SUCCESS.
20 million kids across the United States rely on the lunches they receive free at school as their main source of nutrition. Yet, often, the food they are served is so unappetizing it ends up in the trash. EAT UP follows a Boston entrepreneur as she sets out to reinvent school lunch. Over a year long journey, she wrangles with bureaucracy, unwieldy regulations and a team of stalwart lunch ladies to navigate a path to replace plastic wrapped vended meals with fresh, healthy food cooked from scratch that changes the way kids both eat and learn.