Open-campus policy eats away at school nutrition effort

Healthy menus don't mean much when students can leave campus for lunch.

May 9—At lunchtime, hundreds of Berkeley (Calif.) High School students rush off campus, leaving behind healthy meals served in the cafeteria for burgers and hot dog joints.

Six miles away at Oakland (Calif.) High School, the cafeteria is mobbed. There are not enough seats for everyone, so some students eat lunch outside on picnic tables while others eat in classrooms. No one goes off campus to pick up food from Wingstop or the ampm convenience store. The difference? The Oakland High students are no longer allowed to leave campus during lunch.

In recent years, lawmakers, regulators and school districts have tried to improve students’ health by curbing the sale of junk food and tightening nutritional standards for school food. But those efforts are undermined when students can leave campus to eat whatever they want, as they can at dozens of Bay Area high schools. Based on the experience in Oakland, closing campuses while offering free lunches can be an effective strategy.  

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
moving boxes

Because we have 39 locations throughout the state, employees are offered a transfer if they’re planning a move. They’re rehired by the company, but there’s no additional training needed and employees are ready to go on Day 1.

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

Industry News & Opinion

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.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

FSD Resources