Expert Profile

Jessica Donze Black

Director, Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Jessica Donze Black is the director for the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project. As such, she advises research and policy efforts aimed at improving school nutrition.

Prior to joining Pew, Jessica served as the National Director of the Healthy Schools Program for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation -- a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. In her work at the Alliance,  Jessica led a team of more than sixty people in thirty-seven states who were helping schools make healthy and sustainable changes in their environments, policies, and practices.

Jessica’s other past work includes serving as the first Executive Director of the Campaign to End Obesity, directing obesity initiatives for the American Heart Association, managing national nutrition policy for the American Dietetic Association, serving as a health policy fellow for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and practicing clinical nutrition at DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. Jessica is a registered dietitian with a B.S. in nutrition science from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Reports & Publications

May 25, 2012

Changes “Worth Celebrating” in School Meals (Spring 2012 Trust Magazine Article)


The Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project helped win adoption of new, healthier standards for school breakfasts and lunches. But more work lies ahead.

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News Room

June 27, 2012

Report: Healthy Vending, A La Carte Foods Won't Hurt School Revenue

An Education Week blog post quotes Jessica Donze Black, Kids' Safe & Healthful Foods Project Director, about changing the makeup of "competitive foods" sold at school.

June 27, 2012

Nutrition, Finances Win with Healthful School Snacks, Report Says

A Los Angeles Times health blog post discusses the health impact assessment (HIA) released by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project and the Health Impact Project.

June 26, 2012

Snacks, Drinks at School May Be Key to Kids Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Updating national nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in schools could help students maintain a healthy weight and increase food service revenue, according to a health impact assessment released by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project and the Health Impact Project.

May 10, 2012

Childhood Obesity Target Of Campaign Urging U.S. Government To Improve School Resources For Healthy Students

Jessica Donze Black of the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project is quoted in a Reuters' article about health advocacy groups' efforts to fight childhood obesity by increasing school resources.

April 23, 2012

Poll: After Pizza, Potatoes, and Pink Slime Issues, Changes Favored

Jessica Donze Black, project director of the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, is quoted in Education Week on the importance of selling healthy and nutritious foods and beverages in schools to help combat childhood obesity.

April 23, 2012

Think Carrots, Not Candy as School Snack, Group Suggests

Jessica Donze Black, project director of the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, comments on poll results that show growing support for updating nutrition standards for snacks and beverages sold in schools.

April 19, 2012

Poll Shows Strong Support for Nutrition Standards for Snacks and Beverages Sold in School

Eighty percent of American voters favor national standards that would limit calories, fat, and sodium in snack and à la carte foods sold in U.S. schools and encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy items, according to a new poll commissioned by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project, a joint project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

February 21, 2012

New Guidelines Planned on School Vending Machines

A New York Times article on pending nutritional standards for foods that children can buy outside the cafeteria quotes Jessica Donze Black, director of the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, on the need for national minimum guidelines.

January 26, 2012

Michelle Obama and Rachael Ray Visit Fairfax School to Announce New School-lunch Regulations

Jessica Donze Black, project director of the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, calls new federal regulations meant to boost school-lunch nutrition a "grand improvement" in a Washington Post article on first lady Michelle Obama's visit to a Fairfax County School.

January 25, 2012

New School Lunch Rules Aimed at Reducing Obesity

A New York Times article about changes to government-subsidized school meal standards quotes Jessica Donze Black, project director for the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project.

January 25, 2012

Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project Statement on U.S. Department of Agriculture School Meal Nutrition Standards

A statement from Jessica Donze Black, project director for the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, on U.S. Department of Agriculture School Meal Nutrition Standards.

December 13, 2011

Congress Thwarts Plans to Shape Up School Meals

Jessica Donze Black, project director for the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, is quoted in an Education Week article about recent changes made by Congress to school food regulations.

November 18, 2011

Pew School Foods Project Statement on Department of Agriculture Funding Bill

A statement from Jessica Donze Black, project director for the Pew Health Group’s School Foods Project, on the Department of Agriculture Funding Bill.

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