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Celebrities sign on for healthier school meal initiatives

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Teen television actor Reed Alexander and chef Lorena Garcia are collaborating with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to create healthier school meal recipes, while the Wasserman Foundation has pledged to back athletes’ visits to schools, the William J. Clinton Foundation has announced.

Reed Alexander
The announcement about the recipes was made here Tuesday by Chelsea Clinton at “Health Matters: Activating Health in Every Generation,” a conference kicking off The Humana Challenge. Clinton noted that the alliance, which is backed by the Clinton Foundation, launched a recipe program last year with chef Rachel Ray.

Recipes created by Alexander, an actor best known for starring as Nevel Papperman on Nickelodeon television comedy iCarly, will be available free to schools across the country in February.

Lorena Garcia
Garcia, one of the country's leading Latina chefs, will be piloting her recipes in select schools this spring and will officially launch them nationwide in the fall, the foundation said.

“With students often consuming up to 50 percent of their daily calories at school, school meals are one of the clearest avenues to positively impact the health and nutrition of America’s youth,” sais Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the alliance.

“We are excited to have Reed and Lorena’s assistance and culinary expertise to create healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes for schools and commend them both for their commitment to the health of students across the country.”

The Wasserman Foundation also announced here that it would support the alliance by providing professional athletes as spokespeople for healthy lifestyles and coordinate to celebrate success with personal appearances at healthy schools.

“Together we are reaching an entirely new audience of Americans that is in need of education, inspiration and a positive message about health issues facing young people today,” said Wasserman Foundation CEO Casey Wasserman.

Last year, the Wasserman Foundation and the alliance arranged visits by Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Knight to visit Mark Twain Elementary, a public school in Detroit, to celebrate the school’s progress in the alliance’s Healthy Schools Program and to rally students and staff to continue cultivating a healthy environment for students and staff, including eating nutritious meals and participating in regular exercise.

In a recent speech to the alliance, First Lady Michelle Obama, whose “Let’s Move” campaign also fights childhood obesity, emphasized the importance of exercise as well as healthy eating.