Healthy School Meals — The California Endowment
Minutes after The United States Department of Agriculture introduced the most sweeping overhaul of school lunch nutrition standards in a generation, the backlash began. Critics said the new rules exemplified the "Nanny State" run amok. The meals were too small, the pizza too infrequent, and the vegetables too numerous, they complained.
The California Endowment was prepared. Nearly six months earlier, they hired Behr Communications to lead a multi-agency and multi-media team to mount an aggressive counter-attack, building public support for the new rules and minimizing the risk of backtracking.
Our efforts included "lunch tasting" media events at public schools statewide, featuring real students offering personal endorsements of the new meals, outreach to school nutrition directors, advertising targeting opinion leaders, and a creative social media campaign that urged students and parents to express their support for healthy school lunches.
Though our communications efforts were only one piece of a national puzzle, we're pleased by the results: the backlash against the new standards fizzled, and students today are enjoying healthier school meals.