Want to see healthier food in schools? Oakland’s “State of the Plate” is Thursday

A parent-run produce stand at Glenview ElementaryIt’s one thing to gripe about greasy, processed school lunch food and its contribution to our nation’s obesity rate. It’s another to push for a system that will produce healthy, fresh meals for kids.

The Oakland School Food Alliance — a group of families, local organizations and community members that I wrote about last fall — is trying to do just that. If you’re curious about the latest developments in OUSD or have some ideas to share, the alliance is holding a “State of the Plate” discussion Thursday afternoon with Jennifer LeBarre, head of the school district’s nutrition services department.

It’ll be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Metwest High School, 314 E. 10th St. 

Chuck Davies, associate director of residential dining at UC Berkeley, will also speak at the Thursday event, as well as parents from Stonehurst and East Oakland PRIDE elementary schools. Ester Dixon’s student-chefs from the Castlemont high school campus will serve refreshments. Childcare and translation will be provided.

The school food alliance holds its meetings on the first and third Thursdays of the month at the Oakland Community Organizations offices in Eastmont Mall, and the group is hoping to expand the network.

So far, according to a news release, the following schools and organizations have regularly attended: Alameda County Health Department, Center for Ecoliteracy, Chabot Elementary, Cleveland Elementary, COVA, Crocker Highlands Elementary, East Oakland PRIDE, Esperanza Elementary, Faith Network of East Bay, Futures Elementary, Glenview Elementary, Skyline High, Hillcrest Elementary, HOPE Collaborative, Hayward Unified, International Community School/Think College Now, Korematsu, Life Academy, Lighthouse, Manzanita SEED, MetWest High, Oakland Farms to Schools Network, Oakland Food Policy Council, Oakland Tech, Oakland High, Redwood Heights Elementary, Sankofa Academy, Thornhill Elementary, Tilden Elementary.

If you have questions about the group or want to participate, call 510-593-6978 or e-mail oaklandschoolfoodalliance@googlegroups.com. Oakland School Food Alliance is also on Facebook.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.