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California Food for California Kids®



The California Food for California Kids initiative builds the capacity and commitment of public school districts to provide all students with fresh, locally-grown food and educate them about how their food choices can make a difference to their communities and the planet.

California Food for California Kids supports district-level operational excellence and leverages the magnitude of public school meals—over 1 billion served each year in California—to create positive changes in the food system through the purchasing power of school districts. The initiative provides an array of programs, resources, and inspiration for school food service professionals, educators, and school communities. It operates at multiple levels of scale, including a statewide network, regional clusters of school districts and their partners, and with programs operating within individual school districts.


California Food for California Kids®

Through its California Food for California Kids initiative, the Center for Ecoliteracy collaborates with a vibrant network of professional leadership in California and across the country. We offer resources and professional development opportunities that connect members with peers and experts, provide insight into innovations and best practices, build advocacy, and help develop relationships with community partners and government agencies. Our shared goals are to support aspiring leaders in serving more fresh, local food and to extend eating, learning, and growing across the entire campus through enriched experiences that connect the classroom, the cafeteria, and the school garden.

When participating districts serve more fresh, locally-grown food, they support student health and academic achievement and benefit local economies, communities, and the natural world.


We achieve the greatest impact throughout school communities by focusing on four strategies.

School Strategy: Build the capacity and commitment of K–12 schools to serve freshly prepared meals made with locally grown food, and educate students about the food system and its connection to the environment. 

Partnership Strategy: Cultivate relationships and collaborate with partners to support children gaining the knowledge, skills, and values to contribute to a healthy future for their communities and the planet. 

Communications Strategy: Demonstrate the importance and impact of education for sustainable living, inspiring others to join. 

Policy and Advocacy Strategy: Advance policy solutions that transform how students learn and advocate for systems and strategies that cultivate sustainable school communities.

“This is an exciting project for us, not only because of the obvious health benefits for the kids, but also their learning readiness, the promise of wonderful jobs, and the life prospects it creates for them. By reactivating the whole system and the prudent use of our scarce resources of energy, water, and topsoil, California can present a model to the rest of the country and the world in terms of connecting through our social contract to find the best solutions for the things that we all need and want to do together.”

Kat Taylor
Founding Director, TomKat Foundation

Circle of Advisors

Nick Anicich
California Farm to School Program Lead, Office of Farm to Fork
California Department of Food and Agriculture

Tim Baird
Chief Executive Officer
Cup of Supe Consulting Services

Matt Biggar
Principal and Founder
Connected to Place

Beatrice Bowles

Stephanie Bruce
Director of Nutrition Services
Palm Springs Unified School District

Vince Caguin
Executive Director of Nutrition Services and Warehousing
Natomas Unified School District

Keziah Calmese
Principal Consultant
14 Caliber Consulting

Paul Chapman
Executive Director
Inverness Associates

Mark Chavez
Nutrition Services Director
Long Beach Unified School District

Erin Wirpsa Eisenberg

John Fisher
Director of Programs and Partnerships
Life Lab

Leslie Fowler
LA Fowler Consulting, LLC

Dayle Hayes
Founder, School Meals That Rock
President, Nutrition for the Future, Inc.

Jim Houston
California Farm Bureau Federation

Dareen Khatib 
Administrator of Health and Wellness
Orange County Department of Education

Bob Knight
Old Grove Orange

Jody London
President and Director for District 1, Board of Education
Oakland Unified School District

Dominic Machi
Director of Food Services
Mount Diablo Unified School District

Jennifer McNeil

Mim Michelove
Healthy Day Partners

Gary Petill
Interim Chief Operations Officer
San Diego Unified School District

Erin Primer
Director of Food Services
San Luis Coastal Unified School District

Aimee Retzler
Sierra Harvest 

Curtiss Sarikey
Chief of Staff, Office of the Superintendent Staff
Oakland Unified School District

Jai Sookprasert
Senior Advisor to the Chancellor
The California State University

Eric Span
Director, Nutrition Services
Sweetwater Union High School District

Nora Stewart 

Rodney Taylor

Bertrand Weber
Director, Culinary and Wellness Services
Minneapolis Public Schools

Andra Yeghoian
Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Coordinator
San Mateo County Office of Education


California Department of Food and Agriculture, Office of Farm to Fork
California School Employees Association
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Community Health Improvement Partners
Frontier Energy, Inc. 
Green Schoolyards America
National Farm to School Network
NextGen California
Office of Kat Taylor
San Mateo County Office of Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California Nutrition Policy Institute


California Department of Food and Agriculture
Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation
From Now On Fund
Marin Community Foundation
New Priorities Foundation
Panta Rhea Foundation
Pisces Foundation
Rockefeller Family Fund
Stupski Foundation
Sustainable Futures Fund
The California Endowment
The David B. Gold Foundation
The San Francisco Foundation
Tides Foundation
TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation
Transformation Trust
United States Department of Agriculture