Marin City school introduces new healthy lunch program

The recent test run for a organic, GMO-free-based menu was a hit for students.

Sept. 16—Chicken nuggets and pizza are out, stir fry and brown rice are in.

The students at Bayside/MLK Academy in Marin City are eating healthy this new school year thanks to a pilot program — "The Conscious Kitchen" — that uses local, organic and natural foods for campus meals.

Gone are the packaged and processed foods, with breakfasts and lunches now made daily on site by school chefs. Those same chefs go into classrooms to teach students about foods.

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Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

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This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

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Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

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