Eat REAL Announces its First Cohort of School Districts Pursuing REAL Certification

Industry: Health and Nutrition

Eat REAL’s K-12 certification program will support 185 more schools this and next school year as they continue to raise the bar towards more nutritious, delicious and sustainable meals for students.

Oakland, CA (PRUnderground) February 6th, 2020

Oakland based nonprofit Eat REAL welcomes their first cohort of schools pursuing Eat REAL Certification. Eat REAL is now 100% focused on using its nutrition and sustainability standards to unlock impact within our K-12 schools. The organization started to customize its approach with Mt. Diablo Unified School District in California through the  REAL Food in Schools Collaborative. Eat REAL is proud to welcome 4 new districts serving 185 schools and over 84,000 students into its program. 

Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, Walnut Creek School District and Vacaville Unified School District in California, and Minneapolis Public Schools in Minnesota have all committed to the rigorous Eat REAL Certification process. 

These districts will be evaluated on their menus, meal preparation and ingredient sourcing against Eat REAL’s 10 nutrition and sustainability evidence-based standards measuring 34 key performance indicators with 160 possible points. Eat REAL Certification offers 4 levels of certification, Green, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, based on the score achieved.  While these school districts have already made great strides, the certification journey will allow them to continue to improve the meals they offer their students and serve as an example of what nourishing and responsible school breakfast and lunch programs can be. 

“Minneapolis Public Schools sees the Eat REAL Certification process as an opportunity to evaluate our foodservice performance from a new perspective, identify opportunities for growth, celebrate our achievements, and collectively change the perception of food served in schools,” says Bertrand Weber, Director, Culinary and Wellness Services at Minneapolis Public Schools.

Eat REAL will work with these leaders as they continue to make powerful changes to their programs that exceed current standards for nutrition and sustainability in public school meals. The certification will highlight their work and bring awareness of the meaning and value of real food to their students, parents and broader communities. 

“We’re grateful for their leadership in the movement to create a healthier next generation,” says Eat REAL CEO, Nora LaTorre, “We’re excited to support them in this next step as they become Eat REAL Certified”.

This cohort is anticipated to complete the certification program and become Eat REAL Certified by Spring 2021. The bold leadership of these school districts is inspiring and visionary. Let’s celebrate their work in creating a better food system for our kids and the planet. 

Interested in having your school district participate in our next cohort? This fall, Eat REAL will expand the K-12 certification program opening up the next cohort of schools. Sign up to learn more here.

About Eat REAL

Eat REAL® is a 501(c) (3) Public Health nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California. Eat REAL is dedicated to transforming food in K-12 schools, creating a healthier next generation and planet. Launched in 2012, Eat REAL Certified is a nutrition and sustainability best practices certification program working with school district foodservice leaders to raise the bar and make food in schools more nutritious and sustainable. The organization supports over 237 schools across California and the United States to increase real food access and education with financial support from Battery Powered, Raley’s Food for Families Foundation, Walmart Foundation, WeWorkForGood, incredible angel supporters and special support from 96 donors through Eat REAL’s COVID-19 response campaign. More information can be found at www.eatreal.org/kidsduringcrisis.

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