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What We Do

The California Food for California Kids initiative operates throughout the state of California with strategies designed to improve student health and learning and benefit families, local economies, and students’ ecological understanding. Our work includes coordination with districts across the state, strategic partnering, professional development, advocacy, and an array of projects that benefit diverse school communities of every size. The initiative has become an influencer and welcome partner for school district leadership across the country.


oregano chicken school lunch

In 2021, California made history by becoming the first state in the nation to transform school food by permanently providing free school meals to all K–12 public school students.

A free campaign to increase access to California-grown fruits and vegetables in schools.

Statewide Conference Swanton Berry Farm

Become a member of the largest network of school food leaders in the country.

Aligning the K–12 campus and community with student health and learning.

Policy and advocacy efforts that support and inspire sustainable school communities.

Learn more about the 2021 winners, awarded for their creativity and initiative in improving school food.

California Thursdays

A collaboration between the Center for Ecoliteracy and a network of public school districts to serve healthy, freshly prepared school meals made from California-grown food.

Rethinking School Lunch

Immersive school food program reform efforts at the district level using the Rethinking School Lunch Guide planning framework.

Coordinated implementation and marketing efforts to extend California Thursdays into summer meals, expand awareness, and increase participation.

Professional Development Program

Providing engaging, hands-on professional development as an essential component of improving school food service programs and increasing job satisfaction.