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School-Community Kitchens

School-Community Kitchens

A school-community kitchen presents a new kind of social contract: a public school kitchen, used by both the school and the community as a resource for educational, vocational, and production purposes.

The kitchen optimizes a public space to support student health and improve academic achievement; promote justice and equity; and enhance food security, emergency preparedness, and the economic advancement and vitality of local communities. 

School-community kitchens are rooted in three movements: (1) the growing effort to improve school food, (2) the creation of full service community schools, which attend to the health of the whole child within a family and community context, and (3) a national and international movement on behalf of community kitchens. School-community kitchens are an example of what author and farmer Wendell Berry calls a "solution which causes a ramifying series of solutions."

School-Community Kitchens cover

Creating school-community kitchens throughout the Oakland Unified School District was a major recommendation of the Center's yearlong Rethinking School Lunch Oakland Feasibility Study.

This paper by Center program coordinator Jacob I. Wright describes origins of the school-community kitchen concept, illustrates the potential of school-community kitchens, and presents examples showing the variety of community kitchens now in operation around the U.S.

Download School-Community Kitchens PDF [4 mb]


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