When my daughter came home from her first day in Pre-K at a NYC public school, I wanted to know all about her teacher, the classroom, and her new friends, but of course the first thing I asked her was what she’d had for lunch. She grew up standing by my side in the restaurant’s kitchen as I’d broken down pigs to hams and chops and bacon. She’d helped me harvest beans and gathered eggs at our farm. She’d eaten snails and duck livers and kale. She knew food as well as she knew anything, so I was surprised when she seemed flummoxed by the question.
After a minute of thinking, she said “I guess chicken-fish? It comes in a little plastic bag?”
I laughed until I realized what she meant–a breaded fish filet, cooked in a microwave and wheeled into the classroom on a cart. The next day’s lunch was no better, and the next, and they went on and on, a catalog of every over-processed and overpackaged food you spend your days avoiding. I grew desperate to find some way to help.
I was lucky to be introduced to Nancy Easton that year, and I was excited by the vision that she and Bill Telepan had for improving the quality of school food and fitness options for schoolkids. For the past 3 years, Egg & Parish Hall have participated in the annual Wellness in the Schools gala benefit, a tasting event to which we bring 4-500 portions of some delicious thing we’ve cooked up to help WITS raise money to improve school nutrition and fitness.
This year we wanted to deepen our commitment to WITS, and and I wanted to show my children the benefits of being healthy and of committing to a goal. Running the marathon for WITS seemed like a great way to achieve all of those objectives.
We work every day at Egg and Parish Hall to expand access to good food to people who don’t have it. For a lot of people, the best chance they’ll get at a square meal is in their school cafeteria, and Wellness does a great job of making sure they get one. I’m proud to run on behalf of the teams of tireless cooks and servers at our restaurants to raise money for a cause we all believe in.
Please help us raise money by supporting my marathon run: I’ll think good thoughts about you for a minute of the marathon for every $10 you commit. Give or take.