The Conscious Kitchen and The Good Earth School Lunch Program
Based in Marin County, California, The Good Earth grocery store has become an integral part of schools throughout the county through its Good Earth School Lunch Program. The program serves over 4,000 students and teachers each week across fourteen schools, bringing healthy, organic and highly nutritious foods into the schools. The program is based on the belief that good nutrition supports optimal physical growth, cognitive development and a strong sense of well being.
The Good Earth School Lunch Program is also collaborating with the Conscious Kitchen, a collective of individuals, organizations and businesses in Marin County dedicated to a systemic transformation of the school food system. This initiative is working to unify existing nutrition, cooking and gardening classes that are already offered at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. School in Marin City, California, while serving delicious, nutrient-packed meals daily and offering mentorship opportunities with local chefs, farmers and purveyors in the Marin community.
“After months of observing the Marin City school food program, we set out to break the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, over-processed food and start serving fresh local organic options for breakfast and lunch,” said Judi Shils, Founder and Executive Director of Teens Turning Green, which is spearheading the Conscious Kitchen program.
“This is a program that’s near and dear to my heart,” says mentor Executive Chef Justin Everett of local hotel, Cavallo Point. “During a field trip with my kids, I saw other children eating Cheetos for lunch and I knew immediately a change was in need. Due to budget cuts to school lunch programs, kids are left with unhealthy, inexpensive food choices. With this program, our aim is to show kids how to eat and cook the right way at an early age, which we believe will lead to better health and better food choices growing up. Once they taste locally and organically grown meals, they will hopefully not go back to Cheetos.”
With an outpouring of support from school district leadership, teachers, and especially students, this unprecedented program has united businesses like The Good Earth, purveyors, farmers and community members to ensure success.
Visit The Good Earth School Lunch Program’s website and the Conscious Kitchen’s website to learn how these two organizations are collaborating together to provide students across Marin County with fresh, delicious and nutritious food.