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SF middle school transforms cafeteria experience for students

Lyanne Melendez | October 24, 2014 | ABC Ch. 7

Original article

One San Francisco school is changing the cafeteria experience and how kids think about food.

The cafeteria at Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco was just another place to eat, but now it offers students endless possibilities.

"It's just more fun, basically I guess you can say it's a more fun cafeteria," student Poppy Gallegos said.

There are different kinds of tables for all kinds of purposes like reading, socializing and just hanging out.

"There are so many different tables, it's hard to choose. My favorite is over the in the couches," said one student.

That area is called the chill out station, where kids can eat while trading Pokemon cards or ideas.

Instead of having one long lunch line, there are now two. On the other side of the cafeteria, there's another pick up counter. There's even a roll out food cart outside so kids can grab their food and play.

"It's designed to be another access point for the students in terms of picking up their food and their lunch," school principal Michael Reimer said.

"We all know hungry students have a hard time learning and one of the main objectives of this whole program is to get students excited about eating and wanting to eat the meals, so they don't skip lunch they don't skip breakfast,"
Angela McKee of the Future Dining Experience Initiative said.

This will be the model for future lunchrooms in the school district. It also has a monitor with subtle messages like, how eating a sweet potato is rich in vitamins A and C and where it was first grown.

So they understand where the meal comes from, why they are eating it, what it does to the body," McKee added.

All around them, there are boards to promote student activities in Spanish and Chinese. The wall graphics also remind students how to recycle, or compost.

Money from a school bond helped pay for the new dining area with the idea that feeding the brain and body can be fun.

Page updated on 10/24/14