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The current system is under strain
OF STUDENTS WHO QUALIFY
FOR FREE AND REDUCED
WHO DO NOT QUALIFY
FOR FREE AND REDUCED
OF TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS,
EAT SCHOOL LUNCH
FOOD ISN’T THE ISSUE
18 DELIVERY ROUTES
In an effort to improve the situation, the district hired Revolution Foods, a caterer that serves some of the highest nutritional meals in the nation. But when the lunch bell rang, many students weren’t showing up. The problem, IDEO discovered, wasn’t so much about the food itself, but rather about how it was being served—the design of the lunch experience.
In a world in which students are used to expressing their opinions on social media, they had no voice in shaping their food experience.
IDEO and SFUSD set out to change that—to design a truly student-centered school lunch. The team worked alongside more than 1,300 students, parents, union leaders, nutrition staff, board commissioners, principals, teachers, and community groups to create a better cafeteria experience.
To be sure the recommended designs would address the operational deficit, the team developed a robust business model, considering thousands of data points, like the cost-per-meal of a delivery truck route and where the ketchup was placed in the cafeteria. They took federal, state, and local regulations into account. The data-driven model, which the District has now adopted, informed the design at every stage.
“I’m in the 5th grade. My favorite activity is soccer. Things that make me happy are my dog and cat. When I grow up I want to be an animal rights activist.”
The community kitchen connects SFUSD with the San Francisco food community through menu planning, staff training, and chef training programs.
In elementary schools, students sit around round tables, learn to serve one another, and discover foods together. Staff serve in courses off of a cart. With food served in stages, students eat more of every course and they no longer have to wait in line.
A central crowd-funded platform enables the greater community to connect with school food programs.
Food in the cafeteria is integrated with the learning curriculum. Students receive a richer experience by learning about the food ecosystem through gardening programs, visits to local farms, and composting facilities.
“I’m in 7th grade. My favorite TV show is Robot and Monster. If I could be any superhero, my power would be to be invisible. When I grow up I want to be a professional soccer player.”
A central warehouse enables SFUSD to source local, fresh, and diverse food for our middle and high schools and manage inventory centrally.
Each semester or once a year, groups of students get to redesign the cafeteria. SFUSD can partner with local furniture suppliers and space planning companies to upgrade cafeteria spaces in middle and high schools.
Student Nutrition extends its offerings beyond school meals and taps into new sources of revenue. By being a member of the SFUSD dinner program, students can pick up take-home meal kits equipped with all the ingredients and recipes needed to make a nutritious family dinner.
“I’m in 12th grade. Something that makes me happy is good food and good company. My favorite activity is exploring various cultures through food. I cook a lot! When I grow up I want to be an anesthesiologist and an executive chef…at home!”
An interactive system enables students to pre-order meals, provide feedback, set dietary preferences, and learn about food. This generates data that makes the entire system more efficient and tailored. An integrated loyalty program rewards students for healthy choices.
Existing kitchens can be renovated and production centralized for SFUSD-produced food at our middle and high schools.
Improve participation in high schools and middle schools by placing vending machines and mobile carts at key hot spots. Students get convenient access to nutritious reimbursable meals or healthy a la carte items.