Healthy Day Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of school lunches across the nation, recently announced Mim Michelove as its first executive director.
Michelove joins the Healthy Day team after three years as the founding director of the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) Farm Lab. As director of the EUSD Farm Lab, she cultivated the 10-acre site that now houses EUSD’s innovative DREAMS Campus (incorporating design, research, engineering, arts, math, and science into experiential lessons), as well as a thriving 3-acre farm that grows food for school lunches, a community fruit orchard, the Encinitas Community Garden, and the YMCA afterschool program. Michelove co-founded Healthy Day Partners with another EUSD parent in 2012 in order to develop green initiatives for the school district.
Those eco-efforts now save EUSD more than $800,000 every year and have removed toxic chemicals from all nine school sites. Michelove’s ecological and farm-to-school efforts have garnered local and national recognition.
“Mim Michelove is uniquely qualified to lead Healthy Day Partners,” Healthy Day Board Director Lisa Shaffer says. “Our children, our schools, and our community are already healthier as a result of Mim’s leadership. I look forward to supporting Mim as she builds on her success in Encinitas and takes her expertise and her experience to the broader community.”
Michelove was driven to establish the country’s first certified organic Farm-to- School program because of her passionate belief that healthy foods should be available to all students.
“With science supporting the notion that healthy kids are better students, it seems of critical importance that all students have equal access to the cleanest, healthiest food that we can provide,” Michelove says. “I believe that it is both a privilege and a responsibility to care for and invest in our youth through quality education and nutritious foods.”
Michelove’s belief, and understanding of studies about improving education, led her to design meaningful outdoor experiential education opportunities that connect kids to the science behind eating healthy foods and caring for the environment.
With a stellar track record and her passion for improving public health, Michelove leads Healthy Day in the mission to nourish and heal people and planet through healthier food systems, ecological practices, and environmental education. Healthy Day is currently working with Berkeley-based Center for Ecoliteracy to creatively introduce Southern California teachers and students to the food system through the Center’s engaging Abundant California lessons about California-grown fruits and vegetables.
“Our immediate goals are to help people understand the connections between agricultural practices, the food we eat, our health, and the health of the planet as we expand the organic Farm to School model into less affluent school districts.” Michelove states, “Because everyone deserves a Healthy Day!”
Learn more about HDP at www.healthydaypartners.org — News release