School Lunch Reform

The National School Lunch Program feeds 32 million children every year. These meals often serve as a child's primary source of nourishment for the day, yet most school cafeteria facilities do not have the resources to offer fresh food, and habitually reheat previously frozen meals. Even cafeterias that strive to serve more wholesome ingredients like vegetables, whole grains and fresh fruits, are often forced to subsidize programs using vending machines and snack bars filled with products that contain high levels of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other additives due to fiscal deficits and lack of student interest.

Despite some grim realities, the tides are beginning to turn. Programs like Edible Schoolyard spearheaded by Alice Waters, are making inroads in creating education programs that provide students with a free nutritious lunch, and interactive experiences in the classroom, kitchen, and garden. The sector gained even more publicity when an anonymous blogger and teacher ate lunch in her school’s cafeteria every day for a year and wrote about it on her website. Her identity was revealed when her book, Fed Up with Lunch, was published in 2011.

The Center for Ecoliteracy // Smart by Nature™, the Center’s framework and services for schooling for sustainability, is based on two decades of work with schools and organizations in more than 400 communities across the United States and numerous other countries. The Center is best known for its pioneering work with school gardens, school lunches, and integrating ecological principles and sustainability into school curricula.

Cook for America // Cook for America® envisions a nation of school food service personnel who are trained, empowered and inspired to provide healthy cooked-from-scratch school meals for America’s children.

Edible Schoolyard // Edible Schoolyard (formerly The Chez Panisse Foundation) envisions a school curriculum and school lunch program where growing, cooking, and sharing food at the table gives students the knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future.

Food Family Farming Foundation (F3) // Food Family Farming Foundation has been in fast-forward mode since its inception in 2009. F3 is working to enrich the user experience on The Lunch Box web portal by providing tools for change including recipes, procurement and commodity tools, budgeting and accounting tools, self-assessment tools and equipment grants to districts across the country that need to jump start change in their schools.

Healthy School Campaign //Healthy Schools Campaign, an independent not-for-profit organization, is the leading authority on healthy school environments and a voice for people who care about our environment, our children, and education. Our mission is to advocate for policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment.

National Farm to School Network // Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers.