School Food Tool Kit
NATIONAL SCHOOL PROGRAM.pdf (Content courtesy of City Harvest; design by Rebecca Winters)
NYC SchoolFood brochure, which includes nutritional standards 2009_NYC SchoolFoodBrochure.pdf
Great advice from Child Health & School Foods Organizer Jean Lee:
Best Practices for Changing Food in Your School Cafeteria.pdf
NYC-specific information about the Farm to School program.
Extra Credit: Background information about why school food matters and how school lunch works. HowandWhy.pdf
Did you know that in the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, the U.S. Congress established a requirement for school districts to develop and implement a wellness policy? The wellness policy must include goals for nutrition education and physical activity, and guidelines that will promote student health and reduce childhood obesity–and parents, teachers, students and administrators should be working together on this policy. Download this brochure for more information.DRAFTNYCDOEWellnessPolicy2010.pdf
School Food Partnerships
School Food Managers, Principals, Parent Coordinators, other school staff, parents, and students can also collaborate to enhance the dining experience via School Food Partnership meetings.
Not a parent, teacher, or student but still want to get involved? Help get partnership meetings going at a local school. Follow our Roadmap for School Food Organizing.
Styrofoam Lunch Trays
Learn more about styrofoam trays and how we can work together to get rid of them! Flyer via SOSnyc.org.
Free or low-cost School Cooking and Gardening Programs and Resources:
NYC School and Youth Gardens is a Google Group that you can join to exchange information about school gardens.
Grow to Learn: Citywide School Gardens Initiative is a new program of GrowNYC with resources and information for school gardens.
GreenThumb NYC provides a comprehensive resource for school gardens. You will need to register your school garden to access all of these resources, which include tools, soil, lumber, program guides, and workshops.
The Children’s Aid Society
Children’s Aid launched a number of initiatives in 2003 aimed at slowing or preventing the rates of obesity in the communities we serve. These programs come together as Go!Healthy, an initiative that follows children from birth through adolescence and beyond, educating them about wellness and the joys of healthful cooking and eating. Programs are available to children and adolescents enrolled in after school programs through Children’s Aid in Harlem. Children’s Aid will also provide comprehensive curriculum and training to groups of schools anywhere in New York City who have the funding and would like to implement after school cooking programs in their schools.
Food Bank for New York City CookShop Programs
New York City public schools with at least 50% of the student population eligible to receive free or reduced-price school lunch can apply to participate.
The program’s after-school curriculum is designed to be implemented at community-based organizations and public school classrooms and taught by instructors who are trained by Food Bank staff. Aimed at children, ages six through 12, the after-school curriculum encourages healthy eating and lifestyles and offer hands-on, interactive activities that address cooking, food preparation, the six basic food groups, the dangers of high-sugar diets and more.” Contact Information: Jeannie Fournier, email@example.com
CookShop for Teens: EATWISE
“EATWISE (Educated and Aware Teens Who Inspire Smart Eating), our CookShop program for teens, is a nutrition-education program that focuses on empowering New York City high school students from low-income communities to raise awareness for food and nutrition among peers to work toward increasing access to healthy food in low-income neighborhoods. Over the summer months, the program provides participants with a series of hands-on workshops, field trips and opportunities to educate other youth about making healthy food choices.” Contact Information: Justin Crum, Youth Development Associate, EATWISE Jcrum@foodbanknyc.org Phone: 212-566-7855 ext: 8367 Fax:212-616-4990
CookShop for Adults
“CookShop for Adults offers a series of hands-on workshops for parents and guardians of children in public schools who participate in our CookShop Classroom Program, which promotes healthy eating habits among elementary school students. Through CookShop for Adults, parents and guardians gain the knowledge and resources they need to help continue their children’s nutrition education at home — as well as to make nutritious recipes that help to improve the health of everyone in their household.” Contact Information: Natasha Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
GreenThumb offers support to groups starting new school garden projects by communicating with administrators and teachers involved in the project within the school concerning the next steps, technical or otherwise. GreenThumb also offers material support in the form of tools, lumber, compost, etc. to the school gardens that are unable to get these things themselves.
The Lower East Side Girls Club
Primarily serves girls who live in or go to school in the Lower East Side / East Village. Enrollment begins in September. Operates in multiple rental locations and partner schools. A central location will open up in 2011. Offers a variety of project-based experiential learning programs for girls age 4-College, including literacy, nutrition, and developing job skills. Free public programming available to the entire family on Saturdays during the school year. Runs Sweet Things Bake Shop, a culinary and business skills training program for girls. Visit to learn more or contact Jenny Dembrow email@example.com.
Teachers College Center for Food & Environment
“The Center for Food & Environment at Teachers College is a national leader in the areas of food, food systems, and the diet-health connection. Its research leads to understanding why people make the food choices they do, and what types of interventions facilitate voluntary adoption of more healthful and ecologically sound food choices. This research has many practice-based outcomes.” Funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Center has created the Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) Curriculum, an inquiry-based science curriculum that helps kids build knowledge and awareness about food, the environment, and how what they choose to eat impacts their bodies and the environment. There are three modules available: The first is Growing Food, which addresses how nature produces food for us, how we grow and produce our own food, and how to use our knowledge of food production. The second is Farm to Table and Beyond, which addresses what happens between the time food leaves the farm and when it ends up on our table, including food preservation and processing, waste and recycling, and the methods and impact on the environment of transporting food from farm to table. Both modules are geared towards kids in grades 4, 5, and 6. The third module is Choice, Control, & Change. Geared toward middle schoolers, it asks kids to look at the environment around them, and to think about what it is like to make healthy eating choices in that environment. The LiFE curriculum may be ordered here ($80 for all three curriculum modules, $35 each.) Professional development workshops are available for schools in New York City who wish to implement the LiFE curriculum in their classrooms.
YMCA Healthy Kids is a youth nutrition class for kids 5 – 12. Youth will learn about nutrition, learn how to make healthy snacks and they will have plenty of fun! Youth memberships cost $85 for the year and financial assistance is available. The Healthy Living Series is a workshop series that covers a number of different topics – everything from Healthy Cooking Demos to Weight Loss Support Group Meetings. These workshops are free and open to the public. Contact your local branch for more information.
Advocacy Organizations and Websites:
Rudd Spark supports parent advocates with resources and knowledge.
The Alliance for Climate Education offers live, multimedia, science-based climate education assembly presentations to high schools. ACE works to educate, inspire, and activate high school students in the fight against global climate change because we believe young adults can have a substantial and near-term positive impact on the climate crisis. In addition to the multimedia presentation, ACE offers follow-up programs where we work with youth to form environmental action teams on their school campus. Many of the student led projects we support with our grant and scholarship opportunities involve school/community gardening, composting, and school food reform. Contact: Elana Santana, NY/NJ Educator, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 347.218.4066 Fax: 435.578.2687
Also, check out the Green 15 Newsletter. Green 15 is a voluntary initiative to green schools in District 15, including efforts to create food gardens. The editors welcome you to use their material.
Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative includes information on building healthier schools. Find out about the latest nutrition research & school programs and what you can do in your school and community.
Chef Ann Cooper’s website provides a host of resources for changing school food on the national and local level. The Lunch Box Project’s nonprofit foundation, F3 Foundation, will serve as a granting institution whereby any public school may apply online to be chosen for a salad bar, utensils and training tools beginning September 1, 2010. A school representative must apply and secure the signature of their district’s superintendent, school principal and school nutrition director. Grant awards will be based on need, potential for impact, commitment to the program and potential for future viability when the grant period has ended.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Toolkit has helpful sheets on topics like cooking with your kids and changing your school food.
Better School Food is a group of dedicated parents, educators and health professionals committed to working with local communities to improve meals and increase awareness of the connection between good food, good health and a student’s ability to learn effectively. We support individuals, schools, and communities in their efforts to improve school food. We provide a range of services depending on where you are in the process of school food reform. We’ll help you address how to get started, create wellness policies, implement new food standards, and handle situations after the change is completed.