Focus Area:EducationSchool Food Initiative

Get Involved

How to be an effective advocate:

  • Educate yourself about the National School Lunch Program regulations,
    nutritional requirements and reimbursement.
  • See for yourself what’s being served at school meals by
    visiting a local school cafeteria. Call ahead to arrange a visit.
  • Collaborate with the Food Service Department and the Administration
    to promote and support positive changes.


Visitor ​Categories

Parents & Caregivers
School Food Service Personnel
School Administrators


Parents & Caregivers

  1. After visiting your school to have a meal with your child, call the District Food Service Director to arrange a meeting to ask how you can support better school food.
  2. Meet with other parents to identify ways to support your school’s Food Service Department to produce better school food.
  3. Every school receiving funds through the National School Lunch Program is required to have a Wellness Policy. Most districts have a committee of diverse stakeholders that meets to discuss the implementation of the policy. Find out about joining your district’s Wellness Committee (or starting one if none exists).

Food Service Personnel

  1. Organize with your supervisors and co-workers to see what changes are possible in your school district. Set goals for changes that you would like to make.
  2. Determine resources necessary to work towards these goals
  3. Visit for useful recipes and other tips.
  4. Browse for local chefs who are interested in supporting you at Chefs Move to Schools.
  5. Check out this free resource on the Center for Ecoliteracy website for food service professional development :

School Administrators

  1. Anecdotal evidence supports the benefits of devoting resources to culinary training for food service workers. Approaches to providing such training include partnering with a local volunteer Chef through Chefs Move to Schools, arranging for the Food Service Director to offer professional development for the food service staff (, or obtaining grant funding to run a training program.
  2. Seek funding for kitchen infrastructure upgrades and cooking equipment to increase the capacity for healthy scratch cooking. USDA and CDC periodically offer funding for school kitchen equipment.
  3. Incorporate food literacy into school culture. School gardens, taste education classes, and cooking events expose students to healthy foods.
  4. Take an active role in helping to craft a customized Wellness Policy for your district and enforcing its provisions.


  1. Contact your local Food Service Director and offer to support their program.
  2. Join Chefs Move to Schools
  3. Investigate opportunities to teach cooking classes in your local after school program, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, etc.


  1. Eat lunch at school with your students.
  2. Introduce yourself to the food service workers in your school and ask them about what is being served.
  3. Exhibit model behavior to your students.
  4. Incorporate food into your lessons. The Center for Ecoliteracy website has a wealth of materials.


  1. Please inquire through our Contact Us page. The only volunteer opportunities we currently have are with our School Gardens program at elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara County. All volunteer inquiries will be forwarded to the School Gardens team.