BAR HARBOR — Conners Emerson students had some hot tamales on their hands this Food Revolution Day thanks to MDI Hospital and Havana Restaurant. The hospital and local restaurant have partnered to inspire kids to get creative and hands-on with food for the past three years.
Established in 2011 by chef Jamie Oliver, Food Revolution Day is an international day of action designed to promote food education for children. MDI Hospital began participating in the initiative in 2013 and first joined with Havana Restaurant in 2014 to bring a unique hands-on cooking class to the Conners Emerson cafeteria.
This year, Havana chef Josh Crotty and MDI Hospital’s Marisa Marinelli taught the fifth- and sixth-graders how to make vegetarian tamales. The day kicked off in the school’s cafeteria, where the students learned about the vegetables’ journey from farm to table while using their hands to wrap traditional Mexican style tamales in banana leaves. Outside on the playground, MDI Hospital Wellness Coordinator Kathy Mulligan and Dietitian Amory Davis led the students in several fun outdoor activities including relay races, limbo lines, hula hoops, jump rope and soccer. Conners Emerson science Teacher David Keefe and Kyle Petty of Havana also lent a hand to the Food Revolution Day activities.
“Building food knowledge and awareness in our schools is so important,” said MDI Hospital President and CEO Art Blank. “We are very grateful to Conners Emerson and to Michael Boland and Havana for partnering with us to continue to develop food education for our island’s children.”
Since first engaging in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution four years ago, MDI Hospital and Health Centers have deepened their partnership with coastal Maine farmers, growers and chefs to bring unique food education and well-being initiatives to the local community. This year, Southwest Harbor filmmaker Peter Logue was on hand to film the day’s events. Logue is known locally for his work on Friends of Acadia’s Acadia Centennial video, his work with the College of the Atlantic, his short documentary films and a humorous Gott’s Store commercial. His video portrait of Food Revolution Day 2016 can be viewed at www.mdihospital.org.