The Student Nutrition & Wellness Department at Oak Park Unified School District is dedicated to creating a caring and inclusive school food environment that prioritizes the health and well-being of our students and our planet.
We believe that classroom achievement is inextricably linked to a well-balanced, nutritious meal on the table. As participants in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, we plan our meals according to the nutrition guidelines established by the USDA's Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA).
We aim to produce the highest quality, undeniably delicious meals made from the most responsibly sourced ingredients we can find. We commit to offering globally inspired menu choices that celebrate and respect cultural diversity, promote environmental stewardship, and honor the individuals who grow, harvest, and prepare the food. We prioritize freshness and good nutrition by sourcing locally grown and produced ingredients whenever possible. We choose whole, minimally processed ingredients and avoid synthetic growth hormone, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, added nitrates, and artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. We exclusively use free range, antibiotic-free chicken and turkey, preferably from smaller, family-owned companies. We use only non-GMO and organic soy products and cook with cold-pressed olive and canola oils.
COVID-19 has rattled an already sensitive food industry, and our cafeterias are likewise facing challenges in sourcing basic ingredients and adequately staffing our kitchens. As we commit to providing universal free meals to all students, we have had to make adjustments. At our middle and high schools, we are continuing to scratch-cook the bulk of what we offer in our own kitchens. Due to our limited elementary school kitchen facilities, we are unable to prepare in-house the volume of meals that are currently required to meet the demand. As such, we are careful to seek out the best pre-made options we can find and work with local purveyors who share our standards for using wholesome ingredients and employing time-honored practices.
- We follow proper food safety practices and every one of our staff members is food safety certified.
- We keep our kitchens impeccably clean and organized.
- We offer stellar customer service.
Note on Peanuts and Tree Nuts: We do not use peanuts or tree nuts in the scratch-cooked meals offered in our cafeterias. We do use sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and legumes other than peanuts (e.g. beans).