Our vision has always been to mirror the lessons of the kitchen and garden classroom in the lunchroom. In 2004, the Chez Panisse Foundation partnered with Berkeley Unified School District to design a model for this vision. With the support of the district, we set about to change what all 10,000 Berkeley public school children eat for lunch in school, and how they learn about food, every day.
After three years of on-the-ground work in Berkeley, we have transformed the school meal program. The new Dining Commons at King Middle School now serves as the central kitchen for all 16 schools in the district, providing 8,000 meals per day, made from scratch, with wholesome, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. Read about our accomplishments and lessons learned.