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Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

Representing the 46th District of California


May 22, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) today congratulated three students from Valley High School in Santa Ana who competed in and won the national Cooking up Change competition at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.


First place was awarded to Ivan Lopez, Ashley Blanco and Alejandro "Alex" Hernández, all 18 and from Santa Ana.  The students competed against five other teams to create a healthy meal that is up to nutritional standards required in schools.   The Santa Ana team served a panel of judges a menu consisting lemon and spinach chicken, Tuscan bean salad and cinnamon poached pears.  This winning menu was served today in the U.S. House of Representatives Cafeteria.  It also may be served in schools across the country.


“Ivan, Ashley and Alex represented Orange County very well in the Cooking up Change competition and I am tremendously proud of them for winning the top award,” said Sanchez.  “Congratulations to Ivan, Ashley and Alex for their hard work and great-tasting school lunch.  This is a special competition and I look forward to working with Cooking up Change to continue to engage students across the country in a dialogue about the food they are served in school.”


The Cooking up Change competition was made possible in California for the first time this year with the help of Kid Healthy, a non-profit organization that tackles child obesity through nutrition and fitness programs in Southern California. The non-profit chose Valley High as its trial school.


Ivan, Ashley and Alex won the local contest in Santa Ana and were flown to Washington, DC to participate in the finals.  Upon winning the local contest, they each received a $1,000 scholarship from Orange Coast College, should they decide to attend the school.


A photo is attached of the winning team with Certificates of Congressional Recognition from Rep. Sanchez.  For more information on Cooking up Change, please visit


Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California’s 47th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and parts of Fullerton in Orange County.  She serves as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Sanchez is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Economic Committee.