The Student Nutrition & Wellness Department at Oak Park Unified School District is dedicated to promoting the health and success of every student. We believe that classroom achievement is inextricably linked to a well-balanced meal on the plate. As participants in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, we plan our menus according to the nutrition guidelines established by the USDA. The OPUSD Student Wellness Board Policy and Administrative Regulations further delineate our goals for food quality, nutrition education, physical education, and the overall health of the school community.Our cafeterias prepare meals that prioritize student health and acceptance, celebrate and respect cultural diversity, promote environmental stewardship, and honor those who grow, harvest, and prepare our food. We carefully consider freshness and quality by sourcing minimally-processed, locally grown and produced ingredients whenever possible. We strive to use products that are free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and chemical additives. Most importantly, we seek to follow the slow food tradition by scratch-cooking and preparing the majority of the components in our meals. What we do not make in-house, we carefully select the most natural pre-made options and work with local purveyors who share our standards for using wholesome ingredients and employing time-honored practices.
In April 2015, OPUSD joined a coalition of now 71 school districts to become a part of the California Thursdays initiative in which we committed to serving a freshly-cooked lunch made from primarily California-grown and produced ingredients every Thursday.We were so inspired by the success of our California Thursdays kick-off events, that we made the decision to use California-grown foods whenever possible in all of our meals, every day of the week.Since August 2015, we have used exclusively California-grown antibiotic-free, free range chicken and turkey; and served primarily local, seasonal varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables.