Improving the School Meal Experience

We strategically select projects where we know we can make the most significant impact and make a difference. Our school food work includes partnerships to design and implement innovative, equity-driven, real food programs. School meal programs should be designed around the needs and values of 21st-century students. The meal experience should stimulate their senses, connect them to their food, feel valued, and have an active voice.

Lunch In The Classroom Quickie Guide

For the 2020/21 school year, A Better Course has developed a turn-key Lunch In The Classroom Quickie Guide for Schools. This guide is intended for Principals and classroom staff on how to serve (and clean up) lunch in the classroom. While each district’s meal operations are unique, certain consistencies include tools teachers use for classroom management and tools to implement programs in the classroom.

In an ideal situation, students would enjoy lunch in the cafeteria or outdoor spaces. However, this option is not feasible for many schools. Meals in the classroom require a team effort, involving not only the teacher but also students, custodians, and of course, the Nutrition Service teams.

Please contact us directly at if you are interested in the Lunch In The Classroom Quickie Guide. 

Past Projects

Flunking Lunch Report

Further, we pick issues to work on where sometimes, no one else is looking. Our 2010 “Flunking Lunch” report focused on problems of social justice, accounting and technology that were discouraging low-income students from eating school meals and taking money from federal funds provided for those meals. A Better Course also collaborated with the San Francisco Unified School District Food and Fitness Committee to develop a new, seminal Wellness Policy for school nutrition and physical activity.

Unbeknownst to many, schools often have two lunch lines; in one, mostly low-income students stand to receive a free lunch as part of the National School Lunch Program, in the other their peers purchase more appealing “competitive food”, effectively segregating students by income. Some schools also require low-­income students to use an electronic payment method at the cash register while their peers pay in cash. This means low ­income students are easily identified, and often stigmatized, leading many to skip lunch altogether. Read more . . . 

Read Our Flunking Lunch Report

San Francisco Unified School District’s Wellness Policy

Starting in 2003, A Better Course (formerly Campaign for Better Nutrition) worked with a very small, dedicated group of activists and administrators to develop what was then one of the most comprehensive wellness policies in the nation. Read more . . . 
SFUSD Wellness Policy Press Release, 2015 

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