San Diego Unified School District’s Farm to School Program started in 2010 with three areas of focus: 1) Incorporating local products in school meals, 2) providing nutrition/food curriculum in the classroom, and 3) fostering development and learning opportunities through school gardens.
Through the Harvest of the Month Program, every Wednesday SDUSD features a produce item from a specific San Diego Farmer, such as organic kumquats from Sahu Subtropical in Rainbow, organic minneola tangelos from Sunrise Farms in Vista, and cremini mushrooms from Mountain Meadow Mushrooms in Escondido.
The school district started the Garden 2 Cafe program in 2013, which allows Food & Nutrition Services to serve garden grown produce as part of the school meal program, specifically on the salad bar. By allowing students to be involved with planting, growing, harvesting and eating their own food, students can better understand where food comes from and make healthy eating choices.
Approximately 20 school gardens are certified for Garden to Cafe throughout the district. SDUSD has been dedicated to California Thursdays since October 2014, a program committing to serving a freshly prepared meal made from California-grown once a week. Since then, the district has purchased more than 1.5 million drumsticks which has contributed to $1.8 million dollars to California's economy. Read all about food production at SDUSD in the Fred Espinosa Farm to School Hero Spotlight.