During the 2002-2003 school year, thousands of students in more than 990 classrooms at 41 different LAUSD school sites had the opportunity to taste and learn about farm fresh produce grown in Southern California and brought directly into the classroom. Using a model of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that ties consumers directly to a local farm, the LAUSD in partnership with the Center for Food and Justice (CFJ) was able to establish a direct connection with the Tierra Miguel Foundation, an organic farm in Southern California. This program, which still is still in existence, seeks to integrate health and nutrition, agriculture and environment to teach children about healthy foods and healthy living.
The LAUSD Nutrition Network, which sponsors programs in 200 low-income schools in the district, was supported by federal nutrition education funds and thus able to buy produce from Tierra Miguel. This produce was cleaned and boxed by the farm and packaged so that 20 students could sample and learn about each produce item. The farm delivered produce boxes to 41 schools and nearly 1,000 classrooms throughout the pilot 2002-2003 school year.
The partnership between Tierra Miguel, The LAUSD Nutrition Network, and CFJ was vital in getting t project up and running. CFJ served as the intermediary between the small farm and large district and organized delivery, billing, and other administrative needs. The produce boxes totaled nearly $36,000 for the year, or $36.25 per classroom. A full report of the program is available online.
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