You may know Montclair caterer Abe Dickerson, a.k.a. Chef Abe, as one of the parents who has been fighting tirelessly for healthier school lunches in Montclair Schools. Or you may know him from his catering business where he takes people’s favorite comfort foods and prepares them in healthier ways.
Now Dickerson has an opportunity to take his passion for healthy eating to the next level. He has made it to the second round of the Start Something Challenge. Dickerson has an opportunity to win a $10,000 grant toward his school lunch food company, Abe Foods, as well as gain the support and feedback of business experts to make his dream of a healthy school food company serving area schools a reality.
Dickerson says helping kids eat healthy now is so important to preventing diabetes, obesity and hypertension when they reach adulthood. “Kids are in school nine months out of the year and the education we give them isn’t just what happens in the classroom,” says Dickerson, who adds that many high school kids are buying junk food from vending machines or eating fried foods from vending trucks.
If he wins, Dickerson wants to bid on small single school contracts and affect change. “There’s a national movement to take back our local food school economy. The only way to truly make school lunches healthy is with scratch food cooking,” says Dickerson, who says schools are losing upwards of $100,000 on school lunch because of food that isn’t being purchased and in waste food removal. Dickerson believes schools like Montclair could be sharing profits rather than losing money on school lunches by sharing resources with other districts, and increasing buying power to create a better quality product.
Click the FOOD category here and then vote for Abe Foods. Voting starts today at noon and ends Friday, July 21 at noon. You are allowed to vote from one device per day per sector for the next seven days ending July 21st.