Do YOU have an opinion about school food in Nevada County? Take our survey and let us know what you think!
- School Food Survey for Parents
- School Food Survey for Students (grade 5-8)
- School Food Survey for School Staff
Live Healthy, in collaboration with the current school meal provider, Grass Valley School District Child Nutrition Services (GVSDCNS), is working to change the school meal program to a scratch-cooked model that incorporates more locally and regionally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
Our Vision for School Food
Our ultimate goal is to provide fresh, affordable, scratch-cooked school meals in all public schools in the county.
We aim to serve food that is FULL OF:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Protein, fiber and whole grains
- Locally and regionally grown products
And that is FREE OF:
- Growth hormones and antibiotics
- Artificial dyes
- Artificial preservatives
- Hydrogenated oils and trans fats
- High fructose corn syrup
We are also working towards:
- Reducing the packaging and food waste associated with food consumption within schools.
- Ensuring that this program is financially sustainable for the long term.
Read more about our specific goals and objectives for school food, our goals for school food waste reduction, and a comparison of the ingredients in highly processed menu items versus scratch-cooked menu items.
What are we doing about it?
To achieve these goals, we are actively pursuing the following:
- Salad Bars: We are currently working with Grass Valley School District Child Nutrition Services (GVSDCNS) to provide salad bars in Nevada County’s four middle schools (Seven Hills, Lyman Gilmore, Magnolia and Union Hill). Chef Ann Cooper, who helped lead the transformation of the Berkeley School lunch program, recently donated three salad bars to Live Healthy for this purpose. We are currently working out the logistics of launching the salad bar program, hopefully for the 2013-14 school year.
- Kitchen Expansion: We continue to meet monthly with the school food committee to explore the possibility of expanding GVSDCNS’s Central Kitchen and stocking it with equipment that would enable more scratch cooking.
- Locally Grown: Exploring interim changes to incorporate more locally and regionally grown produce into the current menu
- Nutrition Education: Providing a Farm to School nutrition education program in eleven K-8 schools that supports these efforts by helping the students become more familiar with (and more likely to eat) regionally grown produce
In addition to meeting federal nutrition standards, GVSDCNS has already:
- Eliminated Gatorade from school vending machines
- Bought tomatoes from a Grass Valley farmer
- Introduced new menu item featuring Quinoa
- Purchased local produce for featured Harvest of the Month items
- Hosted taste tests of unfamiliar fruits and vegetables
Why is this important?
- In 2010 in Nevada County, 7.3% of children and 51.4% of adults were considered overweight or obese.
- Even more alarming, one third of our households were considered “food insecure”, struggling to put food on their tables.
- Research shows that kids perform better at school when they are not hungry, and when they are eating a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains.
- For the first time in U.S. history, children’s life expectancy is 2-5 years less than their parents due to obesity-related chronic issues such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and cardiovascular disease.
- The Institute of Medicine and US Department of Health and Human Services state that schools are a key setting for health strategies to lower and prevent obesity because children spend 35% of their time in a school setting, and consume 50% of their daily calories at school.
Farm to School
Our Farm to School program supports this new meal paradigm with school gardens, integrating food themes into the curriculum, linking local farms with schools, and giving kids the opportunity to taste and appreciate locally grown and prepared foods.
If you are interested in developing or implementing ideas related to school food, please contact us.