Blue tables sit outdoors on a sunny afternoon at Oakland High School. The tables are behind a wall with the words, "writer", "diplomat", "activist" and other professions painted in yellow writing.

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.

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The last bell of the school year rang for Oakland school students on Thursday. But where to swim, travel or play sports aren’t the only questions these newly liberated youth—or their parents—have on their minds. How to provide a daily, nutritious meal is a more immediate concern this summer for low-income families and the 20,000 children that depend on reduced-price meals during the school year.

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Students eat organic

“I put love into this food,” said Lawana Wyatt, who has worked with food services in Oakland for the past 13 years, as she instructed a member of her staff on how much food to add to each plate when the students arrived. Although Wyatt is enthusiastic about school lunch on any given day, she knew that Thursday’s meal was really something special. “It’s not every day that we can get organic food,” she said. “I think it’s a good idea. I really hope the kids come.”

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