Oakland, Calif., voters to decide on bond issue for kitchen upgrades

If approved, measure would allocate up to $475 million to improve foodservice

When voters in Oakland, Calif., head to the polls next month, they will be asked to appove a referendum that would allow the schol district to issue as much as $475 million in bonds in order to cover the cost of major renovations to school foodservice facilities. According to advocates, Measure J  would go a long way toward helping the district satisfy provisions of the new U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations on what schools can offer students at breakfast and lunch.

Plans drawn up by the district would include the construction of a central kitchen in West Oakland, which would be the district's fourth, as well as for 14 community kitchens to be built.

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Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

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