Please make your voice heard on school food by completing this survey!
The San Francisco Unified School District, the San Francisco Food Bank and the Department of Public Health (EHS) are taking a close look at the school meals program and identifying opportunities for the school district to feed more kids better food. Background: The school meals program is the largest meal provider in the city, serving 28,000 meals each school day. For many low-income children, it is a critical source of nutrition— yet many students do not participate, impacting their health and readiness to learn. SFUSD has made major improvements to school meals since 2004. The district has eliminated trans fats, now offers salad bars and other fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and uses whole grain pastas and breads. Adding a “Point of Sale” system has sped up the line while improving fiscal tracking and reducing social stigma. They have also provided more meal choices to students at middle and high schools. These enhancements have made school meals more accessible, fresher, and appealing to students— but significant opportunities remain. How can school meals be improved? With full support of SFUSD, the SF Food Bank hired a consulting firm to study and make recommendations for improving the program (no district funds were spent on consultants). The firm has worked with many districts on food service programs. They’ve already completed a preliminary visit and developed an assessment plan based on data provided by SFUSD. This month, they will spend a week interviewing district, school and cafeteria staff, parent representatives and community leaders, in addition to observing school lunch periods. Final recommendations are expected in fall 2011 and will be shared with the Board of Education and the public. How You Can Help: Complete the survey and encourage others to do the same— the more people participate, the more the study will reflect the interests of the community. Particularly critical are the opinions of parents, whether or not their children currently eat school meals. The Parent Survey is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. If you would like to distribute the Parent Survey in paper format to a parent group, please contact Teri Olle at firstname.lastname@example.org .