Finally, we can announce something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. America now has its first public school district that serves 100% local, seasonal, organic, non-GMO student lunches. The 500 kids in the Sausalito Marin City School District in Marin, California, are the lucky ones to chow down on the first locally-sourced, organic meals, making history in the process.
This change goes district-wide following a two-year pilot program at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy in Marin City, a school where 95% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meal programs. The program, called The Conscious Kitchen, is run by the nonprofit Turning Green, which was outsourced by the district. The pilot program launched in August 2013 with some help from Cavallo Point Lodge, the Sausalito Marin City School District, Whole Foods Market and Good Earth Natural Foods.
Starting on the first day of this school year, district leaders are expanding the all-organic lunches to the other school in the small district, Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito.
Local, organic foods are proving to be a benefit for more than just students’ physical health. According to Turning Green, the nonprofit outsourced to procure and prepare the meals, teachers at Bayside MLK Jr. have seen a 67% decrease in disciplinary cases since the pilot program started. They also reported increased attendance and a greater sense of community, which are pretty desirable traits when it comes to young schoolchildren.
Images via Turning Green