As  elementary and middle school children return to their classrooms in  Santa Cruz City Schools, one major change they’ll discover is a whole new world of school food. Beginning with breakfast ($2.00, served before school) and followed by an appealing lunch ($3.25), students responded with enthusiasm to the new meals.  First-day comments from students at Gault Elementary include “Mmmm…I am full” and “I love the brown rice”.  Parents were pleased, too. “This is my son’s first school lunch in four years. My first grader also loved it – we are thrilled.” One enthusiastic mom summed her feelings succinctly: “Whoohooo!”.

Odiaka Gonzalez from Revolution Foods gets the critic's perspective from Gault students

Odiaka Gonzalez from Revolution Foods gets the critic's perspective from Gault students

The fresh, healthy, organic meals are provided by Revolution Foods of Oakland, California to Bay View, DeLaveaga, Gault and Westlake Elementary Schools and Branciforte and Mission Hill Middle Schools.  Additional information about the new meals will be coming soon from new district Food Service manager, Jamie Smith.

Student Wellness and healthy school meals have been, and continue to be, a major focus of the Santa Cruz Education Foundation.  Our advocacy is shared nationwide.  Just today, news broke that Congress will consider a $1 billion boost to the Child Nutrition Act, due for renewal next month. Increasing federal school lunch reimbursements by $1/meal would support districts like ours who seek to provide fresh, healthy food for their students.

You can be heard, too.  We hope you’ll join us for a National Day of Action: Time for Lunch brown bag (BYO) eat-in at San Lorenzo Park on Monday, September 7th at 12:00.  Co-hosted by the Foundation and Slow Food Santa Cruz, this event is just one of hundreds taking place in every state. The time is ripe to send a message to Congress to help us provide real food to our school children.  If you can’t make it, please sign the petition. Stay tuned for details!