Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Regenerative Agriculture campaign banner

California School District Partners With Nonprofit To Deliver Weekly Meal Boxes Brimming With of Whole, Organic Ingredients

Each box contains a total of 28 meals: seven breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners.

When Barbara Jellison, food services director for West Contra Costa Unified School district, reached out to Judi Shils to ask if the district could purchase 130,000 pounds of local organic produce every week, neither of them knew if it was possible.

Shils runs Conscious Kitchen, a local nonprofit program. When she contacted local producers asking if they thought they could comply, they reacted with disbelief. Then elation.

“Nobody had seen quantity like this. Organic companies have not been invited into the institutional supply chain in any regular way,” Shils says. Talking with business owners, she realized that “these purchases could save businesses in our community.”

Like many districts across the country, West Contra Costa had to find its footing during the early days of the pandemic. They started by supplying families with pre-portioned meals at curbside pickups.