Cafeteria Man is a story of positive movement. It’s about the aspiration of social activists and citizens coming together to change the way kids eat at school. It’s about overhauling a dysfunctional nutritional system. And, it’s the story of what it takes, and who it takes, to make solutions happen.
The feature documentary film chronicles an ambitious effort to ‘green’ the public school diet serving 83,000 students in Baltimore.
Leading the charge to replace pre-plated, processed foods with locally-grown, freshly-prepared meals is Tony Geraci, food-service director for the city’s public schools. A charismatic chef from New Orleans, Geraci describes himself as a “little bit lunch lady, a lot P.T. Barnum.” His bold vision includes school vegetable gardens, student-designed meals, meatless Monday’s, and nutrition education in the classroom. His mission is as audacious as it is practical.
“This has never been done before,” affirms Geraci, “but it makes perfect sense.”
The film follows Tony Geraci as a central character, introducing us to a dynamic assortment of human ingredients necessary for reform efforts to succeed.
Among the protagonists in this story are parents, teachers, administrators, farmers, chefs, and dozens of creative and motivated students. Their collective efforts are proof positive that a ‘village’ is indeed required to transform school food.