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Oakland Unified School District Farm to School Initiatives . Defining LOCAL in Oakland. Local In Oakland: The Numbers. Oakland Unified School District 86 Schools 37,000 students enrolled 39,000 meals served per day 71% free and reduced Local Purchasing – Produce
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Local In Oakland: The Numbers Oakland Unified School District 86 Schools 37,000 students enrolled 39,000 meals served per day 71% free and reduced Local Purchasing – Produce Meal Program – 50-65% local depending on the season Harvest of the Month – 100% local Produce Markets – 75-85% local depending on the season Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program – 65-75% local depending on the season
New Farm to School Initiative: California Thursdays • California Thursdays is: • Freshly prepared meals • Fresh CA crops • Local producers • Family farms • Professional Development • Innovative procurement strategies • Marketing opportunities • Nutrition education • Why CA Thursdays? • Freshly prepared meals • Boost for the local economy • Reduced carbon footprint
Sourcing: Produce • Local Produce • Defining “Small Scale” • Creative Procurement
Program Overview • 20 school sites across Oakland. • In all schools, more than 70% of Students qualify for F/R Lunch. • Weekly markets open during after school hours. • Open to parents, school staff, students, and neighborhood residents.
Program Overview • 20-60 varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs and honey sold at each market. • Affordable prices with low mark-up from wholesale prices. • 75-100% Pesticide-Free or Certified Organic produce, 75-85% local depending on the season. • Culturally familiar foods like tomatillos, collard greens and Chinese broccoli & new items like kale, chard and butternut squash.
Successes • Increased ACCESS to fresh, local, affordable produce. • Schools as community centers. • Positive peer pressure = healthy eating at school AND at home. • Supporting small family farms.
Successes • Distributed 340,000 pounds of produce in neighborhoods surrounding 20 schools in East and West Oakland. • Sold over $500,000 worth of produce last year. • Gained the tireless and invaluable support of more than 200 community residents as Volunteers! • Hired 35 community residents as Market Managers.
Challenges • Central distribution capacity. • Under-resourced school district. • Competing priorities of test scores and teaching with market operations/outreach.
Challenges • Staffing structure imbalances: unpaid liaisons, varying skill sets of managers, dependence on volunteer labor. • Training. • Cost/Pricing – Access vs. support of sustainable agriculture. • Driving demand.