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Build a school-based local food system that increases access to fresh, healthy and affordable food for Oakland residents and promotes healthy school environments for our children and families.
Oakland Fresh School Produce Markets is a program of the Oakland Unified School District Nutrition Services and the East Bay Asian Youth Center.
Oakland Fresh is a network of school produce markets throughout Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) that sell fresh, mostly locally grown and pesticide-free fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, honey and other healthy foods at public schools. Produce is purchased from local family farmers and produce distributors, and sold by parents and students during after-school hours every week at each school site. Oakland Fresh School Produce Markets are open to parents, students, staff and community residents, and also accept EBT food stamps. As of the first school year of operation 2009-10, there are 12 Oakland Fresh School Produce Markets, which together distributed an average of 2,000 pounds per week of fresh, healthy food to the community, supported 8 local family farms, and engaged over 150 parents and community residents as volunteers. Our goal is to open 25 markets by 2012, by which time Oakland Fresh will be a fully sponsored farm-to-school program of the OUSD Nutrition Services Department.
Oakland Fresh School Produce Markets are lively community spaces to encourage healthy eating and cooking habits through nutrition education. All school produce markets offer at least monthly cooking demonstrations and tastings using fresh ingredients from the market, as well as healthy recipes and nutrition information. The Student Buyer Card Program allows students to purchase or "earn" healthy snacks at the market as part of a classroom incentives program in which teachers participate. Teachers may also use the Oakland Fresh Market-to-Classroom Lesson Toolkit to teach standards-based lessons in math, science or language arts--using produce from and field trips to their school produce market. Oakland Fresh markets also provide produce for or referrals to a larger network of cooking classes and nutrition education programs throughout the community. And--if you stick around long enough you just might learn a new way to cook greens or squash from another enthusiastic customer.
Our Food System
Oakland Fresh supports local family farmers by volume-purchasing produce for the school markets network, as well as for school meals and salad bars in the Oakland Unified School District. Our purchasing is part of our wider efforts to expand the institutional reach of our farmers’ businesses--through facilitated relationships between farmers and distributors, workshops and trainings in business practices, and cooperative branding. As we continue to expand our markets to more schools throughout the district, our school-based local food system grows.
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