Directed by Fiona Turner (USA, 2019, 81 min.). Digital.
An ambitious entrepreneur sets out to reinvent school lunches, bumping up against bureaucracy, regulations, and a team of stalwart lunch ladies as she navigates a path to feed public school kids better food.
Thirty million students across the nation take lunch every day through the National School Lunch Program. For the majority of them, it is their only guaranteed meal of the day. In Boston, where 78% of students are food insecure, much of the food students are served at school is thrown straight in the trash. Eat Up documents a yearlong journey inside Boston Public School kitchens, cafeterias, and internal meetings, following a Boston entrepreneur who recognizes a challenge and jumps in.
Followed by a panel discussion with the film's director and local experts on nutrition and education.
Jill Shah, an entrepreneur and Boston philanthropist, recognizes the pressing need to provide something better than frozen, packaged meals to feed Boston’s vulnerable student population. She leads an initiative to change the system and get fresh food cooked on site.
Jennie Hall is an East Boston native. She is the cafeteria manager (and an alumna) of East Boston High, one of four schools in the area chosen for the yearlong pilot program in which fresh food was cooked on site.
Erica Herman is the principal of Allston-Brighton's Gardener Pilot Academy, which she sees as a central part of the community. For the past decade, Herman has been actively lobbying for a kitchen in her school to properly service and feed her K–8 pupils.
Fiona Turner, the director of Eat Up, is an award-winning producer and documentary filmmaker. She and the film crew spent a year following Jill Shah’s initiative as it played out on the ground in the kitchens and cafeterias of Boston Public Schools.