Healthy Food in Schools

Working to increase access to fresh, local, nutritious, environmentally sustainable, equitably sourced, and culturally relevant foods within Seattle Public Schools

The Healthy Food in Schools initiative is a partnership between Seattle’s Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE), Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Culinary Services, and community partners, and is supported by revenue from the Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax. 

Healthy Food in Schools includes the following efforts:

Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program

The Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program provides students in 27 participating Seattle Public Schools with a fresh fruit or vegetable served during lunch or in the afternoon. Fresh produce items are served whole or occasionally prepared into a salad, smoothie, or side dish.

The program serves 5,000 students weekly during the school year and is offered at schools with high rates of students eligible for Free & Reduced-Price meals.

The goals of the program are to: 

  • Increase students’ access to healthier food choices;
  • Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables students experience;
  • Increase students’ fruit and vegetable consumption; and
  • Increase the amount of local, organically grown produce items served through the program. 

Supporting sustainable and equitably sourced foods in school meals

OSE provides technical assistance and funding for SPS Culinary Services to increase school meals made with fresh ingredients from local farmers, fisheries, and food businesses, especially those owned by Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). This support helps SPS increase their purchases of high-quality, sustainable ingredients and serve culturally relevant meals while equitably investing in the local food economy.

Local ingredients are often used in school meals cooked from scratch and culturally specific menu items featured in “Taste of SPS” lunches and “Build Your Own” bars offered at many Seattle schools. In the 2022-23 School Year, SPS offered a Tex-Mex taco bar, yakisoba noodle bar, and Italian pasta bar to attract more students to the lunch program with fresh, customizable, and flavorful meals. 

Sustainability and Environment

Jessyn Farrell, Director
Address: 700 5th Avenue, #1868, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124-4729
Phone: (206) 256-5158

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