Next Tuesday, November 29, is the Global Day of Giving. This day is important because it allows us the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what matters to us, what kind of world we want to live in, and how we can get there during this season of gratitude. Giving Tuesday is a global movement launched in 2012 and has resulted in millions of dollars and volunteer hours gifted to important causes. You can help create a future of healthy children and a healthy planet by donating to Eat Real. This opportunity is extra special because this year, Primal Kitchen has generously offered to match your gift, up to $20,000.
Your donation helps us realize Eat REAL’s mission to empower school districts nationwide to make food delicious, nourishing, and climate-friendly. Our evidence-based certification program requires a district to undergo a points-based assessment of its program against Eat REAL’s ten standards. These standards evaluate different areas of nutrition, sustainability, and overall transparency. Together, we use this assessment to support school districts in prioritizing change and reaching their goals. As a member of the Eat Real program, school food leaders are building a network of support with farmers, local producers, and each other.
Two school districts that recently achieved Silver Level certification are San Luis Coastal Unified School District and Boulder Valley School District. Led by Food & Nutrition Services Director Erin Primer, the stellar San Luis Coastal Unified School District team is dedicated to making school meals nutritious and empowering for all their students. In creating their food service program, Primer and her food and nutrition services team take full advantage of their location in a highly agricultural region. Primer shares, “We prioritize fresh, real, healthy school meals that taste great, and our Eat Real Certification process helps us articulate those values and what we stand for in the foods and ingredients we source and serve at school.” The department sources as much as 30% of their produce from small to mid-size farms and hosts regular student “taste tests” to learn about new ingredients and the farms that grow them. Read more about San Luis Coastal here.
The very first school to receive Eat REAL’s Silver Level Certification was Boulder Valley School District (BVSD). Every menu in the district is crafted from locally sourced, climate-friendly, whole ingredients that introduce students to a wide variety of foods and cultures, inspiring students to make nutritious and climate-conscious choices. They excel at turning the cafeteria into a classroom, exposing students to seasonal fresh fruit & veggies through salad bars, engaging students’ senses with taste tests of new ingredients and dishes, and educating students about local and seasonal food. Under the leadership of Chef Ann Cooper and continued under director Stephen Menyhart, BVSD is a model for school food service, nationally recognized as a trailblazer in school food programming. Read more about Boulder Valley here.
Together, we can expand our program to shift one billion dollars in school food purchasing power towards more regenerative foods improving the health of our children and planet. We are so grateful for your support of the Eat REAL community. Head to our donate page today and see your generous contribution matched, dollar for dollar, by food leader Primal Kitchen!