What Happens When California Kids Eat California Food?

An initiative with ideas, models, and resources focused on California that can be adapted anywhere.

What Happens When California Kids Eat California Food?


The Center for Ecoliteracy's California Food for California Kids™ initiative,  part of the Center’s Rethinking School Lunch suite of publications and projects, is an example of our strategy of working at multiple levels of scale: locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. While the resources described here are especially directed to our home state, California, we hope that they will provide ideas and inspiration for anyone seeking to incorporate fresh, seasonal food in school meals; preserve the environment; and promote local and regional economies and agriculture.

To date, the initiative has included two statewide conferences, work with individual districts, strategic consultations, and the creation of many resources, such as the acclaimed cookbook and professional development guide Cooking with California Food in K–12 Schools. 

Some ways to join the California Food for California Kids movement:

  • Make changes in your menus and recipes
  • Offer professional development for your nutrition services staff
  • Adopt a new procurement system
  • Collaborate with other districts in areas such as purchasing and professional development
  • Conduct a feasibility study
  • Work to change local, state, and national policies to encourage districts to purchase from your state's farmers 

California Food for California Kids® is generously supported by the TomKat Charitable Trust.