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Transforming School Food Politics Around the World

Transforming School Food Politics Around the World

Transforming School Food Politics Around the World is now available for free from MIT Press.

This compilation of essays from editors Jennifer Gaddis and Sarah A. Robert explores how to successfully challenge and transform public school food programs to emphasize care, justice, and sustainability, with insights from eight countries across the Global North and South. The Center for Ecoliteracy contributed a chapter on our approach to school food systems change. We share our successful advocacy efforts that helped secure California as the first state to offer free breakfast and lunch to all public school students — permanently. As described in the introduction:

“Anne Moertel, from the Center for Ecoliteracy, a California-based nonprofit organization that has been engaged in school food systems change for more than twenty-five years, tells the story of how California became the first state in the US to create a universal school meal program in 2021. Moertel articulates core strategies and lessons from this campaign that secured government-funding and policy commitments to provide every student with free, freshly prepared, California-grown school meals and food education opportunities.”

The chapter details the Center for Ecoliteracy’s six strategies for achieving free school meals in California:

  • Seize the moment
  • Build strategic partnerships
  • Use a systems change approach
  • Leverage a powerful network
  • Present research and data
  • Design a campaign brand

School food can and should be a part of the infrastructure of daily life, rooted in care for people and the environment. We are honored to share our story and provide a model for changemakers worldwide who are transforming school food. 

Purchase a copy or read for free with MIT Press Direct Open Access.

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