Change Your School Food

Out of more than a decade of work with school food systems, the Center for Ecoliteracy has developed a planning framework, "Rethinking School Lunch," which identifies ten aspects of school operations that relate to food change—ten pathways that allow you to begin the change process from a place that fits your resources, interests, and opportunities.

Our downloadable RSL Guide presents the case for rethinking school food along with ideas and recommendations for using this planning framework. The Center also offers a variety of other resources, including books, curriculum guides, essays, and downloadable tools, as well as seminars, consultations and presentations based on the Rethinking School Lunch framework.

California Food for California Kids Awards

The Center recognizes innovative leaders and school districts in the movement to incorporate fresh, seasonal food in school meals.


Nov 14, 2013: CEL convened California school food service innovators for a day of cooking, learning, and inspiration.


21 new recipes for reimbursable school meals from fresh ingredients, scaled and tested for quantities of 50 and 100.

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Type Title Description
Download Making the Case

Tools for demonstrating the academic, health, environmental, and financial benefits of high-quality, appealing school meals.

Download Forging the Justice Path

School food system reform is a critical strategy for addressing fundamental justice issues.

Essay California Thursdays Success Story: San Diego Unified

San Diego USD is sending the message that school food can be both delicious and nutritious, and the district's students are listening.

Essay California Thursdays Success Story: Turlock Unified

After Turlock Unified's food service launched its "real.fresh" marketing campaign, student participation increased 300 percent.

Essay California Thursdays Success Story: Oakland Unified

California Thursdays helps Oakland transform a complex, well-established system through manageable steps.

Essay California Thursdays™

A collaboration between CEL, participating school districts, and allied groups to serve healthy, freshly prepared school meals featuring California-grown foods.

Download Cooking with California Food in K-12 Schools

Our acclaimed cookbook, resource for menu planning, and professional development guide by award-winning cookbook authors Georgeanne Brennan and Ann M. Evans.

Download Rethinking School Lunch Guide

A planning framework in downloadable PDF form for improving school food, supporting sustainable food systems, and teaching and integrating curriculum around food issues.

Essay California Food for California Kids

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

Essay 10 Things You Can Do to Rethink School Lunch

Actions to take to join the movement for better school food.

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Center for Ecoliteracy. All rights reserved.