Every September, the Alameda County Community Food Bank joins a network of 200 food banks nationwide for Hunger Action Month to promote volunteering, social media activity and advocacy to raise awareness about food insecurity, a term food bank staffers, activists and the government organizations use to mean that people lack access to enough safe, nutritious food to be healthy.
After the Oakland Unified Schools District (OUSD) eliminated the district’s free supper program in 2018, student organizers from Oakland Kids First, a city organization that supports youth organizing and campaign work, and the OUSD Superintendent’s Office teamed up to recover and revamp the program.
On Wednesday night, more than 50 students, parents and community organizers demanded that Oakland school board members restore the district’s free supper program.
The school district’s recently-approved Central Kitchen, Instructional Farm and Education Center Project is an effort to improve the quality of school meals in Oakland by creating a modern facility equipped to prepare thousands of nutritious meals every day. It will be located at the Marcus Foster school site in West Oakland, which formerly housed the Marcus Foster Middle School and later offices for the Programs for Exceptional Children. In addition to being better-equipped to serve fresher and healthier foods for students, the new site will offer educational programs and even a farm for students to help grow the food that may one day end up on their plates.
The board approved the Central Kitchen project, KIPP Bridge Charter School presented materials for a proposed elementary school, and, after some discussion, the board approved a facilities use agreement with Lazear Charter Academy.
Grinning at his colleagues clustered nearby and draping one arm across the shoulders of executive director Amana Harris, artist Justin Metoyer-Mullon cut a red ribbon. The ribbon stretched across the opening to the courtyard of the Marcus Foster Education Center to the right of a large, bright mural depicting the center’s namesake. “We’re really using our art to transform our environment,” said Metoyer-Mullon, gesturing to the space behind him. The five murals contrast sharply with the fence to which they…
Oakland Unified School District pioneered “California Thursdays,” a program through which schools across the district serve lunches sourced entirely from in-state producers one day a week. Last Thursday, organizers welcomed 14 more districts from across the state, comprising nearly a million students, in following suit.
Elementary students stand in line at Oakland’s Stonehurst Campus Kitchen, facing a critical question that will define the next thirty minutes of their lives: burger or chicken salad?