Food & Nutrition Services Programs

Our meal programs have received national recognition and many awards for their innovation and quality of service. We continue to raise the standards of school food with meal program concepts that present a healthy, attractive, convenient and fun atmosphere for students.

Farm to School 

Farm to Schoool

 At its core, Farm to School is about establishing relationships between local foods and school children by way of including local products in school meals; incorporating local foods related curriculum in the classroom;  and providing development and experiential learning opportunities through school gardens, farm tours, farmer in the classroom sessions, chefs in the classroom, culinary education, educational sessions for parents and  community members, and visits to farmers’ markets.Farm to School is a program that connects students and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias; improving student nutrition;  providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities; and supporting local and regional farmers.
 
 San Diego Unified works to purchase as much organic, local, regional and California grown food as possible using the following definitions:
  • San Diego Local: Grown or raised within San Diego County 
  • Regionally Grown: Grown or raised within 250 miles of San Diego County and is within the state of California
  • California Grown: Grown or raised within the state of California

Harvest of the Month

Each month, a new seasonal, locally grown fruit or vegetable is served on school salad bars every Wednesday for Harvest of the Month.  Teachers can show our five-minute “Virtual Farm Field Trip Videos” to their students in the classroom as a quick and easy lesson about eating healthy and eating local. San Diego Unified Food & Nutrition Services creates these videos in-house. 

Meet Our Farmers

Did you know that San Diego County has more organic farms than any other county in the nation? We are proud to have such a rich agricultural tradition here in Southern California that is still growing strong. We are very lucky to be surrounded by farm partners who can grow amazing things like organic avocados, kumquats and persimmons for our students. 

Meet the farmers who provide local and sustainable products for our menus.
 

Garden to Café

Through Farm to School, we also offer a Garden to Café program, which allows school gardens to serve fresh garden grown foods as part of the school meal program. In order to participate, schools must become certified. Learn more.

California Thursdays

 

California Thursdays

California Thursdays is a program that provides students at all district schools the option to eat delicious, healthy meals made entirely from California-grown food every Thursday. With the help of our local farmer and purveyor partners, we are able to provide our students with the highest quality California products. Some of our California products include our free range, antibiotic free, air chilled Mary’s chicken from Pitman farms, baked Tofu from San Diego Soy Dairy, Honey Mustard sauce made at San Diego based Green Bellies, milk from Hollandia Dairy located in San Jacinto, and fresh produce sourced from local farms through our Farm to School program.
 
San Diego Unified is the largest California Thursdays district in the state with wholesome California meals being served to more than 250 educational facilities. 
  

Breakfast in the Classroom

Breakfast in the Classroom

 The Breakfast in the Classroom program ensures students start the day right by serving nutritious breakfast right at their desks. Studies have shown that kids who miss breakfast also miss learning. While some      schools have offered breakfast for many years, Breakfast in the Classroom ensures that students eat breakfast by making it part of class time.
 
 Breakfast in the Classroom is only available at schools in which 80 percent or more of the students qualify for the federal government's Free and Reduced Lunch Program. San Diego Unified currently serves more than  30,000 breakfasts each day across more than 52 schools with Breakfast in the Classroom. 
 

Kid's Choice CaféKids Choice Cafe

Kid's Choice Café is an elementary healthy-choice breakfast and lunch program that encourages students to choose foods wisely establishing lifelong positive eating habits. Kid’s Choice Café is in each of the district’s 132 elementary schools, and promotes the theme “It’s Cool to Eat at School.”
 
At lunch, students make a choice from three entrées and then go to a salad bar to make selections of salad, vegetables and fruits. A monthly "Harvest of the Month" fruit or vegetable is offered to add a bit of excitement. When available, fresh local fruits and vegetables are incorporated into the entrées and/or salad bar through the Farm to School initiative.
 
A Kid’s Choice Café lunch is $2.25 unless the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals. Kid’s Choice Café menus are distributed to each student and posted on the Food and Nutrition Services digital menu app.
 

SanDi Coast Café  

SanDi Coast Cafe

SanDi Coast Café is a secondary school service and menu concept that offers a wide variety of choices to encourage students to have a healthy breakfast and lunch. SanDi Coast Café embraces the Southern California lifestyle and cuisine with:
  • A new attitude toward serving food to students - offering fresher food faster and more conveniently
  • A focus on the customer with new menu items served at themed kiosks located around campus
  • A new and much easier way to pay for meals used by all students
The menu offers something for everyone. Whether you enjoy a popular hamburger at Surf Side Classics or try the Asian inspired chicken bowl at the Wok n’ Bowl, students’ choices have expanded and part of the fun is to try everything. Themed carts have improved access for all students, and are grouped in convenient locations making it easy to check out all that is offered. Enjoy sandwiches and salads at the SanDi Fresh Bistro, find a collection of Italian favorites such as pizza and pasta bowls at Riga Tony’s, the Hi-Tide Grill features grilled burgers and hot dogs, and at Baja Beach there’s a great bean and cheese burrito. Vegetarian choices are offered daily.
 

Summer Fun CaféSummer Fun Cafe

Summer should be fun, carefree, and exciting for all kids. But for too many San Diego children, the end of the school year can sadly also mean hunger. Summer means the free and reduced price meals kids depend on throughout the year are gone, and many children find themselves wondering where their next healthy meal is going to come from.

This summer, San Diego Unified’s Summer Fun Café will help ensure children do not have to worry about their next meal by providing fresh, tasty lunches and snacks for children throughout San Diego.

Children may go on summer vacation, but hunger doesn’t! San Diego Unified’s Summer Fun Café bridges the summer hunger gap and lets our children know that the community cares about their well-being all year long. A well-nourished San Diego child is a happier and healthier child, and we owe it to our children to make sure their summers are reserved for fun, growing, and learning.

 
Click here for a complete list of sites for this year. Watch our promotional video to see how the program works.  
 

SanDi Coast Catering

SanDi Coast Catering provides fine catering services at reasonable prices for schools, district departments, and parent and community organizations holding school events. Our professional staff is ready to meet your every need, large or small. Please take a look at our menu brochure and price list to use in making your selections. Located at Gompers Academy - 1005 47th Street, San Diego, CA 9210 • Telephone: 619/262-0817• Fax: 619/269-8289 • Cell: 619/990-3499 • E-mail: catering@sandi.net

Options Catering

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Love Food Not Waste

Program Goal

Our goal is to feed people, NOT landfills.  Often times after offering our students healthy, nutritious meals, there may be some prepared food that’s leftover.  In the past, most of this food from our nineteen school production kitchens and 159 cafeteria kitchens was destined for the landfill.  But not anymore…

Reasons to Focus on Food Waste

  • It’s the right thing to do!  In San Diego County, over 500,000 tons of food waste is sent to local landfills each year.  This food gradually decays and releases methane, a strong greenhouse gas.  At the same time 1 in 6 San Diegans don’t know where their next meal will come from.  That’s 435,000 people, including 150,000 children facing food insecurity.  Just 5% of the 500,000 tons of food wasted locally each year would fill the meal gap for those in need in San Diego.
  • It’s the law! In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save valuable landfill space, State law (AB 1826) requires schools to divert organic waste, including food, landscape/garden waste, and wood waste from landfill disposal by 2019.

Love Food Not Waste

SDUSD is committed to keeping leftover prepared food from school meals out of the landfill. Through our Love Food Not Waste program, this food is rescued and provided to local hunger relief organizations coordinated through our partnership with Feeding San Diego.  These organizations are then able to extend a meal to those facing food insecurity in and around our school communities.

How is Food Rescued? 

The food rescue program is centered around our 19 middle and high school production kitchen hubs or “clusters.”  These clusters include the nearby schools that are provided food and related supplies from the production kitchen each day via a Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) delivery truck.  Every school in the cluster collects packaged or kitchen wrapped items that were over-produced and un-served food from breakfast or Breakfast in the Classroom, and lunch.  Where possible, foods such as chicken nuggets or unwrapped burgers at elementary schools are bagged and labeled for rescue. This food is kept under refrigeration in the school kitchen, picked up the next day by the FNS delivery driver, and then taken to the cluster production kitchen for pick up by a local hunger relief organization (HRO). 

Results

Since the program’s inception in September 2016 through June 2017 we have rescued more than 111,900 pounds of food from school breakfasts and lunches, equating to 93,266 meals.  The program continues through the summer at those production kitchens preparing meals for year-round schools, summer school, and other summer meal programs.