School food service professionals work hard every day to serve high-quality food to schoolchildren and offering sustainably raised beef helps to reach their goals of nutritional and culinary excellence. This group of large school districts is demonstrating to the public that there is substantial interest in beef with a desirable environmental and nutritional profile. This coordinated endeavor is a significant step in efforts to enhance the food served to children nationwide.
What’s better about this beef? The four districts have chosen to serve various types of “better” beef – from local and grassfed to all-natural and free of antibiotics, added hormones, and preservatives. For more detail on each district, see below.
The participating FOCUS school districts, with more details on each, follow:
PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS (46,785 students) will serve locally sourced grassfed beef hamburgers from Carman Ranch in Wallowa, OR on locally sourced Shepherd’s Grain whole-grain buns in all 85 schools across the district on October 13.
OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (38,826 students) will serve all-natural, antibiotic-free, added-hormone-free beef hot dogs from Coleman Ranch in all 98 schools district-wide as part of its “Ideal Meal,” alongside antibiotic-free chicken, locally baked cornbread, and on locally sourced whole-grain buns on October 14.
SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (131,541 students) will serve Applegate Farms grassfed beef hot dogs, courtesy of Applegate Farms and Whole Foods, in 18 schools (serving about 36,000 kids) on October 14.
DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS (78,352 students) will serve locally sourced, sustainably raised beef from Callicrate Beef of Colorado Springs, CO in haystacks (tortilla chips topped with chili and low-fat cheese) on October 13, and in spaghetti with meat sauce on October 14, in all 142 schools across the district.
School Food FOCUS is a national initiative that supports large school districts with 40,000 or more students in their efforts to procure more healthful, more sustainably produced and regionally sourced food to help children perform better in school and maintain healthier lifestyles. FOCUS aims to transform food systems to the direct benefit of children, farmers, regional economies and the environment, and is funded by a generous grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.