California Food for California Kids
Schools can be a powerful demand lever for good food purchasing and economic stimulus. School meal programs can also be a way to teach young people – future community leaders – the value of nutrition, building lifelong healthy habits that save taxpayers money in the long term. The benefits to serving healthy school meals to children are many; bettering student health outcomes, increasing academic performance, creating more racial equity, and – if done right – can provide an economic stimulus to California farmers by purchasing California-grown food.
In 2010, Kat began a partnership with the Center for Ecoliteracy (CEL), a nonprofit that leads systems change initiatives encouraging schools to teach and model sustainable practices. This ambitious, multi-year effort has culminated with the CEL’s statewide California Food for California Kids® program (CFCK) which supports systems change by improving children’s health, education, and the state’s economy while teaching students where their food comes from and how it reaches the table. The CFCK program reaches more than 90 school districts throughout CA, and accounts for over 330 million healthy meals of the one billion meals served annually to children in California school districts.
Kat, the Center for Ecoliteracy, and NextGen Policy also helped advocate for, and successfully secured $10 million in funding for the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) Farm to School Grant Program, a critical component of supporting the health and well-being of California’s kids through nutrition education and healthy food access.