WEST CONTRA COSTA
UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Conscious Kitchen Ignites a Farm to School Movement
Conscious Kitchen is proud to partner with the West Contra Costa Unified School District. This expansion is our next big milestone to transform school dining across the country.
Step One was a demonstration week that took place from January 30 – February 3, 2017 at two schools in the district; Peres Elementary in Richmond and Madera Elementary in El Cerrito. Fourteen notable Bay Area chefs scratch cooked breakfast and lunch daily for 1,100 students using fresh, local, organic seasonal, non-GMO (FLOSN) ingredients. Each chef sourced provisions from local organic farmers, ranchers and purveyors. The meals far exceeded USDA National School Lunch Program (NSLP) nutrition guidelines.
This demonstration week was the first step toward the goal of a full transition to the Conscious Kitchen framework for these two schools.
On May 24, 2017 the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education approved a partnership agreement between the WCCUSD and Conscious Kitchen. The agreement authorizes Conscious Kitchen, Peres Elementary and Madera Elementary to jointly raise funds to support a year-long Conscious Kitchen pilot at Peres and Madera Elementary Schools, as a first step in the district. For information about how you can support this vital initiative, please contact Judi Shils at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equity and Access: Reducing Barriers of Access to Fresh, Healthy Food
As an organization, we believe that access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege.
Conscious Kitchen seeks to overcome health disparities that take an unfair toll on children growing up in low-income households. We do our work within the context of a food system in which people of color and low- income families are more likely to experience diet-related disease and have limited access to healthy foods.
Despite California’s economic and agricultural prosperity, over one in eight is hungry or at serious risk of hunger. Approximately one in five California children may go to bed hungry at night. Hunger is a symptom of poverty; far too many families experience devastating health consequences when their low wages or modest public benefits can’t cover the cost of housing, utilities and food. Our children pay the greatest price; nearly one-third of California’s children are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This reflects a trend in our society: obesity is the new face of malnutrition associated with hunger.
Schools play a critical role in terms of intervention. In California, 58 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced price school meals. For a majority of children in CA, the meals they eat at school are their primary source of nutrition. West Contra Costa Unified School District is comprised of 54 schools, serving over 30,000 students, 70% of whom live below the poverty line, qualifying for free and reduced school meals. The student population is diverse and representative of the state’s rapidly changing demographics: 53% of students at WCCUSD identify as Hispanic/ Latino, 10% White, 10% Asian/Asian American and 18% African American. As such, this is an important District to test, measure and improve the school food framework as we look to expand this program across California.
A Conscious Kitchen breakfast includes a main course, side of veggies, fruit and milk or water with an average food cost of $1.35. A popular breakfast is Yogurt Parfaits with Conscious Kitchen Granola and Cinnamon Apples.
A Conscious Kitchen lunch includes a main course, side of veggies, fruit and milk or water at an average food cost of $2.85. A popular lunch is barbecue chicken drumsticks, brown jasmine rice with cauliflower, and seasonal fruit.
Please see our Demonstration Week Menu here!
We’d like to thank the extraordinary team of Bay Area chefs who generously donated their time and culinary brilliance to WCCUDS’s demonstration week. Their enthusiasm and passion for preparing delicious, organic food for students brought an unparalleled sense of joy and nourishment to these school communities.
“After more than three years of developing this program in the Sausalito-Marin City School District and knowing that it works and makes a big difference in the lives of these kids, I’m very excited to see The Conscious Kitchen expanding across the Bay Area,” said Justin Everett, Executive Chef of Cavallo Point Lodge and a founding partner of The Conscious Kitchen.
Participating chefs include:
Cavallo Point Lodge
Co-Owner and Executive Chef
Acquerello in San Francisco
Chef / Partner
Prospect in San Francisco
Copita in Sausalito
Oren’s Kitchen in Richmond
Chef / Owner
Cibo in Sausalito
Good Earth Natural Foods in Mill Valley
The Conscious Kitchen
One Market in San Francisco
Commonwealth in San Francisco
Fonda in Albany
Chef / Partner
Radici in Berkeley
Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito
El Cerrito Natural Grocery Annex in El Cerrito
First Dollar Foundation, Julie and Will Parish, Betty Gaye Toney & John Potter, Rotary Club, Richmond CA
In Kind Support
Food/ Farmers/ Purveyors Mary’s Organic Chicken, Rock Island, Clover Organic Milk, Lundberg Family Farms, Capay Organic, Marin Cheese, Nutiva, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Simply Organics, Shady Maple Farms, Straus Family Creamery, Del Monte Meat Company, Pacific Gourmet, Cooks Produce, Edison Grainery, Pacific Produce, San Francisco Specialty Produce, FEED Sonoma
People and Businesses Alison Makala, Jawan Eldridge, Barbara Jellison, Alena Andress, Kelly Cary, Deneane Hannon, Rosa Koyoc, Jennifer Rienks, Barbara Sobel, Fanny Powell, Haylea Hannah, One True North, Cobalt Event Productions, Stacy Malkan, Susan Black, Leslie Leslie, Big 4 Party Rentals, Cambro, Cayson Designs, Full Circle Home, If You Care, Repurpose Compostable, Silver King, US Pure Water, Williams Sonoma, Active Kyds, Butcher Paper King