Conejo Valley Unified School District (Farm to School)
Thousand Oaks, California
The Conejo Valley school district, located in Thousand Oaks, CA has multiple nutrition programs in place for their students. The district consists of 30 schools: 20 elementary, 5 middle, 3 high, and 2 continuation sites.
This year, in partnership with Community Alliance with Family Farmers the district will begin holding twice monthly "Experience Days" in the elementary schools. This program will bring fresh produce from the Gold Coast Growers Cooperative on campus, exposing students to local produce specialties such as white peaches, snap peas, and blood oranges, which they may have ever seen at home.
The District is also a strong participant in the Department of Defense Produce Program sponsored by the USDA. This program allows schools to allocate a portion of their commodity entitlement dollars towards fresh produce. Through this program, the Conejo Valley School District is able to receive and serve fresh produce to students in all grade levels.
Some of the fresh produce bought with the Department of Defense Produce Program funds ends up in lunchtime salad bars. Entree and fruit salads are available daily in secondary school sites. The elementary schools are broken down between cooking and satellite kitchens. At the cooking sites, salad bars are available as entree alternatives. At the satellite sites, the students can order taco salads (prepared with lean turkey taco meat) as their entree alternative. The district's elementary schools also have a very popular fresh fruit basket program where any students, whether or not they are eating lunch in the cafeteria, can take fruit at no charge.
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