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Meet Stephen O’Brien

Stephen O'Brien, Vice Chairperson

USFA Vice Chairperson

NYC Department of Education – New York City, NY

Mr. O’Brien has worked, since 1991, to improve school meals for the 1.1 million New York City children in all of the 32 school districts, and has a broad understanding of the complexities involved in delivering a quality service to students. He has overseen several changes and transformed school meals and cafeterias, making them a model for districts across the country including: using more locally sourced foods, cutting out artificial ingredients, bringing salad bars to all schools, serving whole grains, getting compostable plates and utensils into cafeterias, developing a citywide emergency response plan and getting students engaged in the meal service. Mr. O’Brien has been honored for his work and participates in conferences and events that educate communities about school meals and nutrition education programming as well as model practices for engaging and educating parents about School Meals. He is a founder and board member of the Urban School Food Alliance. He is committed to working with the Alliance to improve meal service in New York City and nationally.  Mr. O’Brien holds an A.O.S in Culinary Arts, a B.S. in Food Service Management with a minor in Secondary Education from Johnson & Wales University, is a certified teacher, has an E-Cornell Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition and a Master of Public Administration, from Baruch College, City University of New York.  He volunteers his time to facilitate international student exchange programs, mentors students at Baruch College and enjoys cooking and traveling.

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