Betti Wiggins is changing the way American children eat while at school

(NBC News) Betti Wiggins talks about her serious work in a way that, more often than not, is funny.

“When I was in Detroit, we held a funeral for the deep fryers,” Wiggins told NBCBLK about the school food reforms she oversaw for half of the last decade in the Motor City. “We said goodbye to Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam too.”

The district was flat broke. The U.S. Department of Agriculture gives program directors rules and a budget. Wiggins studied them and used both to her advantage as she established 70 school gardens and a 4.5 acre farm.

“We did a lot of things because we were serving children in a city where the grocery stores were long gone, and food shopping in gas stations was just the way families too poor to own a car had to live,” she says. “In the process, we introduced some children to their first fresh vegetables — not canned, processed or candied.”

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