Fresh Start Foods

Fresh Start Foods “Healthy Families” Initiative

The Healthy Families Initiative at Your Charter Schools


For Discussion

Program genesis and design principles:

A new department will be established at Your Charter Schools that addresses food policy - including access, nutrition and production – as well as opportunities for employment within the culinary sector. The following two principles will guide the development of the program, including the curriculum and the broader engagement of other partners and the community:

  • Everyone in the community is entitled to nutritious food and healthful food choices.
  • Everyone needs good work and the community needs productive citizen-members.

The departmental program will be developed over a four-year period, with new features added each year. The assumption is that by Year 4, the department’s curriculum and program features will be fully established.


The new department will create two paths for learning and service: one focused on students and the other focused on the surrounding community. In addition, the department will have a built-in continuous development function that offers a means for students, staff and program partners to participate in research, evaluation and planning activities that will guide decisions about how the curriculum and related program activities are refined.


A Scenario for How the Department Will Take Shape

    Year 1
  • A healthy living/food access curriculum will be offered for all students.
  • The department will establish a school community garden built and managed by students and community members. The garden will:
  • Be the foundation for the learning
  • Expand the school-student-community relationship
  • Combine best practices and innovation and have enough acreage to produce an adequate amount of food for distribution
  • Allow students, parents, and community members to engage in new learnings that go beyond the schoolyard
    Year 2
  • The school garden will be expanded beyond its educational function to begin providing affordable fruits and vegetables for the community
  • A culinary skills course will begin (describe)
  • The department will begin to operate a food mobile market (bus) that will:
  • Sell fruits and vegs both from garden and local farmers
  • Have regular stops through the neighborhood, and
  • Enable people to sign up for delivery (through a co-op or regular purchase)
    Year 3
  • The school community garden continues and expands
  • The culinary skills course continues
  • The mobile food market continues
  • School lunch truck stationed outside school that will:
  • Give students work experience,
  • Provide meals for the community, and
  • Provide tasty, satisfying, healthful, and affordable alternatives to traditional fast food.
  • Pop-up “restaurants” through the neighborhood, operated by students, at intervals through the school year, to develop a cuisine and a repertoire of food that can be brought by the public.
  • A catering service is established as part of the program that will eventually grow to a scale that could service the school meals contract and provide outside catering.
    Year 4
  • All programs continue.
  • The department opens a bakery with an oven for community baking.
    Year 5
  • New affiliated catering entity is formed that will pick up the catering arm to contract with Any Schools for food service.
  • Culinary department graduates - around 20 in the first year - will be eligible to work for the business.
  • The entity will also get certified as a minority provider and seek other food service opportunities in the community.

  • This work fulfills the mission of helping the community and individual students, with an emphasis on creating a sense of care and responsibility for each other.



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