L.A. school board adopts comprehensive food policy
In line with its previous commitments to balanced nutrition, the Los Angeles school board voted Tuesday to implement one of the largest and most comprehensive food procurement polices of any school district.
The policy calls for using the $100 million the Los Angeles School District spends annually on food as leverage to ensure that food service providers comply with fair workers' rights, provide organic and sustainable farming, and protect animal welfare.
"Where and how we grow, purchase, process and prepare our food matters," said board member Steve Zimmer.
"Today we begin to improve our role and footprint along the food chain," he said. "In that chain, LAUSD is an important link."
The district prepared 109 million meals in the 2011-12 academic year. It exceeded state and federal nutrition guidelines by including fresh produce and implementing a ban on chocolate and flavored milk.
"With 80% of our students depending on us for a meal, it is our responsibility to provide them with the energy and nourishment they need to excel in the classroom," said board President Monica Garcia.
She added: "With the Good Food Purchasing Policy, LAUSD is responding to our community's call for food justice, ensuring that healthy food is accessible to each and every student while supporting local businesses.”
-- Dalina Castellanos