SFUSD Celebrates National School Lunch Week with Grand Opening of McAteer Culinary Center
The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is celebrating the grand opening of the McAteer Culinary Center as part of National School Lunch Week. The newly upgraded kitchen will prepare fresh meals to be distributed to Early Education sites and the two high schools on campus (The Academy and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts).
The McAteer Culinary Center serves as a model for a central kitchen for the district. The new facility consists of energy-efficient equipment, including serving lines that serve freshly-made bulk food rather than pre-packaged meals, a dishwasher allowing for use of reusable dishes, a washing machine allowing for use of cloth napkins, and a milk dispenser serving certified organic milk from Straus Family Creamery.
The upgraded facility demonstrates the opportunity to improve procurement practices as part of the district’s adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Policy and commitment to the health and equity of students and the food system. Areas to handle fresh produce and raw products allow for the purchasing and processing of high-quality food and ingredients, including raw “no antibiotic ever” chicken and flour to bake on-site.
“With the McAteer Culinary Center, we are further investing in nourishing our students,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “Healthy food is essential to our student’s success both in and out of the classroom. When students come to school, we’re not just committed to teaching them, we’re also committed to creating an environment that fuels their learning.”
“We know that hungry students have a harder time concentrating and getting the most out of their school experience. I’m proud that it’s a priority for our District to ensure students receive high-quality and sustainably sourced meals, and that they receive those meals in an inviting space,” Board of Education President Stevon Cook said.
The space also includes a redesigned dining area that features new furniture, digital menu screens, and graphics of trees and landscapes as part of the student’s request to bring the scenery the campus enjoys indoors. The dining area will serve as a community hub for sharing meals, hosting club meetings, band practice, and more.
The McAteer Culinary Center will be staffed by the district’s first Chef, Josh Davidson, along with the first Cook and four Assistant Cooks.
This work was made possible by the 2016 General Obligation Bond, the San Francisco Sugary Drinks Distributor Tax, SF Environment and the Someland Foundation.
SFUSD Student Nutrition Services is the largest meal provider in San Francisco, serving 7.5 million meals per year to 54,000 students at 136 schools across the City.
Page updated on 10/15/19