Largest School Districts Celebrate One Year Of Urban School Food Alliance School food services directors unite to offer more healthy options, while driving food costs down
KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The largest school districts in the U.S. announce the one-year anniversary of the Urban School Food Alliance, a coalition that includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade as well as those in Dallas, Texas and Orlando, Fla. The group, which procures more than $530 million in food and food supplies annually, aims to use its purchasing power to help drive down costs of food and supplies and to have vendors reformulate menu items to ensure that students continue to receive delicious and nutritious meals daily that meet USDA guidelines. The Alliance currently serves about 2.9 million students and close to 2.6 million meals daily.
"We a proud to be a part of this Alliance because the work that we've been doing has never been done before," says David Binkle, director of Food Services at Los Angeles Unified School District. "Over the last year, the group has worked diligently to share best practices so that we all serve the healthiest and freshest possible meals to our students, at the best prices possible."
The Urban School Food Alliance officially formed during last year's School Nutrition Associate Annual National Conference in Denver. During this year's ANC meeting in Kansas City (Jul. 14-17), the group aims to achieve the following:
- Align synergies in improving school food image, quality and procurement
- Standardize food and supply specification for food items such as chicken as well as supplies like serving utensils and plates
- Develop bid proposal documents
- Establish 2013-2014 communication plan
"We want to be innovative," says Dora Rivas, executive director of Food & Child Nutrition Services at Dallas Independent School District. "Providing students with nutritious meals assures that they are prepared to meet the academic challenges of the day. But especially during these tough economic times, we, as food services directors, also want to make sure that we procure wisely without sacrificing quality."
SOURCE Urban School Food Alliance