Alliance between major districts hopes to create national food standard

L.A., New York, Chicago and Miami among districts fighting for healthier meals..

Jan. 17—A landmark new alliance among Los Angeles Unified and five other major urban school districts are hoping to leverage their vast purchasing power for healthier fare and lower prices.

School districts in L.A., New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Orlando, Fla., plan to announce Thursday efforts to use their collective clout—2.5 million daily meals served and $530 million annually spent—to make wholesome food a national standard. The districts are also aiming for more eco-friendly practices—replacing polystyrene and plasticwith biodegradable trays and flatware, for instance.

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Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

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