The most important stage for the conversation on food to play out isn’t your kitchen, or farms, your garden, or your supermarket, but school cafeterias around the world — where we can literally teach the future how to build healthier, more sustainable habits and ecosystems. Who’s doing it right? Who’s doing it wrong? And what challenges will we face in a post-COVID world, with schools being out? These questions and more, coming in this critical yet overlooked conversation.
Carmen Burbano de Lara has been with the WFP for 16 years. She specializes in supporting governments to strengthen their national social protection and safety net policies and programs, and to tackle malnutrition and food insecurity. She has held senior management positions in Peru, Rome, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania; and provided temporary support to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti and Nepal. Ms. Burbano de Lara is WFP’s world expert in school feeding and a member of the Technical Committee for School Feeding of the Partnership for Child Development at the Imperial College in London. In this capacity, she has advised the governments of China, Colombia and Kenya, Ghana, among others, often in partnership with the World Bank. She authored WFP’s flagship publication “The State of School Feeding Worldwide” (2013) and conceived and drafted WFP’s Global School Feeding Policy (2013). Prior to assuming her current position in July 2018, she was WFP’s Representative and Country Director in Peru. She has also worked in UNDP’s Executive Office, providing policy support on social protection to Prime Minister Helen Clark. Carmen is Ecuadorian and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and Bachelor in Latin-American Studies and Comparative Literature from New York University.
Jennifer LeBarre runs the San Francisco Unified School District’s school meal program, which provides tens of thousands of meals weekly to TK-12th grade schools and Child Development Centers including breakfast, lunch, supper and snack programs. She also oversees a network of after school produce markets. During her time with nearby Oakland Unified School District, the district was nationally recognized for its role as a leader in the “farm to school” movement, procuring over $9 million in food annually, of which more than 30% was sourced from within California. Jennifer also works at the state and national level to improve school meals, increase access to the meal program, and increase locally sourced food. During COVID she has taken immediate action, navigating the federal ecosystem, raising private funding to supplement public programs, and expanding feeding programs beyond schoolchildren to help families in need during quarantine in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Christyna Serrano received her Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. She has also worked at Berkeley to both design and teach on-ground and online courses for six years, on which she has published and presented her research. Before coming to SingularityU, Christyna worked in higher education assisting faculty and Subject Matter Experts with the design and development of courses for Digital Learning Initiatives, the implementation of faculty professional development workshops, institutional accreditation, policy development and analysis, assessment, institutional research and data analysis, and learning design.
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