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California Thursdays

California Thursdays
Number of school meals served annually by our network

California Thursdays

California Thursdays supports public school districts in serving fresh, healthy, California-grown food.



California Thursdays is proven to be an excellent starting place for districts seeking to serve more fresh, local ingredients. Starting with just one day a week — Thursdays! — districts develop their capacity to purchase, prepare, and serve food that is as fresh and local as possible. As their success grows, districts can expand their California-grown offerings to more days of the week, transforming menus so that fresh food becomes an everyday event.

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

To help make your California Thursdays program a success, we provide a library of free resources. These include recipes and professional development tools that help districts revamp menus and improve staff skills. To enrich the dining environment, we offer award-winning posters and activities that bring food and nutrition education directly to students. Student engagement resources, including tastes tests and lunch surveys, inform leadership on the best ways to refine and expand menus, increasing participation and enjoyment.

California Thursdays has received extensive local, state, and national media coverage. It was honored by the State of California through HR15, a resolution that commended the program and urged all schools in California to join. It has inspired other states to launch similar programs, including Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York.

If you are a California public school district and want to know more about California Thursdays, contact us here.

California Thursdays brings awareness of the fresh, wholesome, and seasonal bounty of our state.
Karen Ross
California Thursdays