California Thursdays®

 

is a collaboration between the Center for Ecoliteracy and a network of public school districts to serve healthy, freshly prepared school meals made from California-grown food.

Serving fresh healthy food supports student health and academic achievement. It helps kids learn where their food comes from. Buying locally creates jobs and boosts the economy. It is also good for the environment.

Learn about the Network

The California Thursdays Network includes 58 school districts across the state, serving over 283 million meals a year to 1.75 million students. Learn more about the power and impact of this network on our at-a-glance infographic. GET THE INFOGRAPHIC HERE ›

California Tastes Amazing

Get cooking with your kids with our new cookbook! GET IT HERE ›

Local Kids. Local Food. San Diego.

School districts in San Diego county are collaborating to serve more fresh, local food. FIND OUT MORE ›

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For Parents

How can you help improve the quality of your child's school meals? Here are five things you can do to learn about school meals and encourage your district to make them fresher, healthier, and tastier.
FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO ›

En Español

Cinco cosas que los padres pueden hacer. ver mas ›

Aisha Tyler Gets Real about School Food

The talented actor, talk show host, and author shares her support for fresh, real school food. SEE MORE ›

California Thursdays Success Stories

Learn how districts across the state are transforming their meal programs by making fresh, healthy meals that students love.

Turlock Unified: Turlock Unified increased student participation 300% when they gave students what they asked for: fresh meals made with local ingredients. READ MORE ›

Oakland Unified: Oakland Unified started with just one fresh, local meal a month, gradually transforming 21,000 school meals a day. READ MORE ›

San Diego Unified: San Diego Unified, in the county with the most family farms, women-owned farms, and total farms in the nation, connects the food on students' plates to nearby farms and communities. READ MORE ›

For Educators

How can you encourage students' curiosity and understanding of California food? Here are five things educators can do that support teaching and learning about fresh, healthy California food, the people who provide it, and how it grows. FIVE THINGS EDUCATORS CAN DO ›

"California Thursdays brings awareness of the fresh, wholesome, and seasonal bounty of our state."

Karen Ross
Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture

"I really believe if you offer a healthy choice and only a healthy choice of food, students will take it and eat it."

Gary Petill
Food Service Director
San Diego Unified School District

"Oh, to be a kid again in a California school (on a Thursday)."

Deborah Kane
National Director
USDA Farm to School Program

"California Thursdays is a great way to expand your Farm to School program to the center of the plate."

Jennifer LeBarre
Executive Director of Nutrition Services
Oakland Unified School District

"Part of my job is teaching where food comes from. California Thursdays provides a vehicle to promote California's great agriculture."

Michelle Drake
Director, Food and Nutrition Services
Elk Grove Unified School District

School Meals Featuring California Foods

These 21 recipes, scaled and tested for 50 and 100 servings, feature California-grown fruits and vegetables. Designed for school nutrition services, these reimbursable recipes include meal plan contributions, serving sizes, and recipe yields. GET THE RECIPES HERE ›

En Español

21 recetas que pueden render entre 50 y 100 porciones.
Descargar ahora ›

Everybody's talking about California Thursdays.

See newscasts and articles about the movement for freshly prepared California school meals. SEE MORE ›

About the Center for Ecoliteracy

The Center for Ecoliteracy is a nonprofit that advances ecological education in K-12 schools. We recognize that students need to experience and understand how nature sustains life and how to live accordingly. VISIT US HERE

More from the Center for Ecoliteracy

  • The World's Flavor Profiles. This classroom lesson provides insight about history, geography, and food traditions from around the world. READ MORE
  • Making the Case. Fresh, healthy meals are good for students, good for learning, and often good for school finances. READ MORE
  • Big Ideas: A New Alignment with Academic Standards. This publication identifies key concepts that link food, culture, health, and the environment and aligns them with recent academic standards. READ MORE
  • Rethinking School Lunch Guide. This guide explains the rationale for reforming school food and presents a planning framework based on ten important pathways. READ MORE