Written by: Aislíng Mitchell, FoodCorps Service Member with Oakland Unified School District
I’ve always loved working with school gardens to grow healthy, happy kids. But I want to make sure our hard work continues outside of our garden walls. My new strategy started when I discovered our school’s farmers market always had leftover kale. I questioned our local parents and discovered that the parents in our community did not believe their kids would eat this dark green leaf. Continue reading
Today’s guest poster brings us back to Oakland for a more in-depth look at California Thursdays, a program we’ve shared about a bit in the past. After a year of service with Community HealthCorps in Mendocino County, John Pleasants has joined FoodCorps California and Oakland Unified School District to strengthen the district’s California Thursdays program. Continue reading to discover how Oakland Unified is spearheading local procurement programs in 85 schools across the district.
Oakland Unified School District is changing the way it serves school food one day at a time. Every day, school kitchens in Oakland are serving lunch to over 22,000 students, and every Thursday those same kitchens are now serving locally sourced and freshly prepared meals to kids across the district. Continue reading
This FoodCorps Service Member and California native, Ceanna Vangelder, is bringing farm to school with Oakland Unified School District this year. Read on to learn about the district-wide fresh produce markets and how the district is procuring and distributing local produce into nearby schools… and parking lots.
Every Tuesday, an order of specially chosen fresh produce arrives at East Oakland PRIDE (EOP) Elementary School, and every Wednesday, with the help of my market volunteers, we make a colorful spread of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to sell in the parking lot in front of the school. It’s not quite that simple, of course, but after 11 market weeks, the positive impact of the often-challenging job is more apparent and the sales are up.
Sarah Ting, superstar FoodCorps service member, international jetsetter, and Oakland native wraps up our series on Oakland’s many inspirational Farm to School initiatives with this excellent summary of the district’s famous community markets. (For other OUSD posts, click the “OUSD” tag to the right of your screen!)
“If the organic mandarins are $1 per pound and our customer is asking for 2.5 pounds, what is her total?”
Every week, a fifth grader comes to our school produce market to volunteer his help by weighing fresh fruits and vegetables from local family farms and calculating totals for customers. He used to walk back and forth outside the elementary school simply waiting for his mother to pick him up, but now he passes the time by engaging in his favorite subject: math!
Today’s guest blogger is Oakland-based FoodCorps service member Danielle Nahal. You’ll want to read this one all the way through.
FoodCorps service member and guest author Danielle Nahal at Stonehurst Elementary in East Oakland
There are few places more exciting to be as a FoodCorps service member than Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). The district has made incredible strides both in their school garden programs as well as their school lunch initiatives, where the California Thursdays program has begun serving entirely California sourced, scratch-cooked meals every week across more than 80 schools.
We had a great time last week presenting a webinar on how Oakland Unified School District put together its robust Farm to School program by dreaming big and following through on some important projects. Even better news is that if you missed the webinar, you can still view it!