Top Chef Judge Hugh Acheson to Serve as Healthy Living Ambassador

WASHINGTON, D.C. – NHSA and Chef Hugh Acheson announced a partnership in which the former judge of the Bravo reality cooking competition show Top Chef will serve as their Healthy Living Ambassador. As the NHSA Healthy Living Ambassador Chef Acheson will visit Head Start programs to speak with children and families about the importance of preparing nutritious meals and raise funds to enable select programs to create their own gardens at Head Start centers around the country.

“NHSA is excited to partner with Chef Acheson to promote healthy lifestyles for young children and their families and to bring awareness to Head Start programs,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “Healthy, well-balanced meals are critical to the Head Start model, and influential partnerships like this reinforce the power and promise of the Head Start Advantage. We thank Chef Acheson for his dedicated commitment to Head Start.”

Award-winning Acheson and his team of chefs have created special “Head Start” dishes that will be featured in his Georgia-based restaurants, Empire State South  in Atlanta and 5 & 10 in Athens. The seasonal Head Start dishes will vary between the two restaurants and will be noted on the menu. The inaugural Head Start dish featured at Empire State South will be Gouda & Apples with Quinoa, Cashew, Cabbage and Turmeric and 5 & 10 will offer Cornmeal Porridge with Day Springs Cornmeal, Collard Greens, Kale, Swiss Chard, Pickled Hedgehog Mushrooms and Beets.  Proceeds from the dish will go to support NHSA’s Garden Grants program and Dollar Per Child program.

“I look forward to this powerful and continuing partnership with the National Head Start Association,” said Chef Hugh Acheson. “I visited two Head Start centers last year, both with gardens, and the difference Head Start makes in the lives of millions of vulnerable children and their families is truly life-changing. I am honored to play my part in ensuring healthy lifestyles for our nation’s youngest learners.”

On February 7, Chef Acheson will offer the keynote address to hundreds of Head Start teachers, administrators, and parents at the Region 4 conference in Atlanta, GA. Following the address, he will host a dinner for two local Head Start families at his Empire State South restaurant to publicly kick-off the Garden Grant Fundraising drive with a special Head Start dish. Nkeiru Anyanwutaku and her son Chigoziem, who attends Easter Seals Child Development Center in Roswell, GA, and Portia Wayne and her son Timbur, who attends Partnership for Community Action Head Start/Early Head Start in Clarkston, GA, will join Chef Acheson for dinner.

About NHSA

The National Head Start Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for nearly 1 million children, 270,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start and Early Head Start grantees in the United States. ••• Media Contact: media@nhsa.org

In Recent News

NHSA’s Response to FY 2024 Appropriations Bill

NHSA is pleased to see a record investment of $12.27 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start in the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill signed into law by the President over the weekend.

Read More

The Beans and National Head Start Association Celebrate Two Years of Success Improving Employee Retention and Wellbeing for America’s Educators

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The Beans, a financial technology startup, and National Head Start Association (NHSA), a pioneer in early childhood development and education, proudly mark the second anniversary of their partnership to reduce stress and support staff retention. Financial stress continues to rank as the most persistent form of stress in America, with teachers…

Read More

NHSA’s Response to President’s FY 2025 Budget Proposal

Washington, D.C. – President Biden released his proposed FY 2025 budget on Monday, March 11, 2024, including $12,540,519,000 for Head Start and Early Head Start–an increase of $544 million over FY 23. Last year, the Administration proposed a topline of just over $13.1 billion for Head Start programs and began a methodical and much needed…

Read More