Improving the School Meal Experience

We strategically select projects where we know we can make the greatest impact and make a difference. Our school food work includes partnerships where we can design and implement new innovative, equity driven, real food programs. Our approach to program design always keeps students at the center. School meal programs can be designed to meet the needs and values of the today’s 21st century student. Students should have a positive meal experience, one that stimulates the senses, connects to food, where students feel valued, and be able to have an active voice in.

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, there are certain consistencies, including 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 requires a team effort, involving not only the teacher, but also students, custodians, and of course, the Nutrition Service teams. 

Please contact us directly at Zetta@abettercourse.org 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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