In July 2016 Fallbrook Union Elementary School District was awarded the Good Food Rebate Program Grant by the collective collaboration of Community Health Improvement Partners, the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, and the Leichtag Foundation. The grant was designed to rebate the awarded school district 20% of local, sustainable, and/or fairly-produced foods up to $10,000 in rebates, which will help that district shift up to $50,000 of overall food purchases to food options that are local, sustainable, and support California growers and producers.
Next month, on Feb. 2, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District will host a health, nutrition, and sustainability event at the Mary Fay Pendleton School campus. The event will showcase the local food supplied by the Good Food Rebate Program Grant. Partnering with local dairy Hollandia, Fallbrook dried fruit company Cal Tropics, sustainable meat producer Sage Mountain Farms, and San Diego County public health educators, this event will bring the best of local health and wellness initiatives to the student body and the Fallbrook community.
As part of the Good Food Rebate Program, Fallbrook Union Elementary Child Nutrition Department has brought 30% more local produce to the salad bars at each school during school year 2016-17 and has increased local food sources by 20%. Plans for the remainder of the school year include bringing in additional local growers for an increase of local foods by 50%.
"Bringing in local food is such a great legacy for our district," says Carissa Iwamoto, operations specialist for FUESD's Child Nutrition Department. "Our director Sandi McGoldrick has been working with local vendors for years but this grant has opened the doors for even more purchasing opportunities with the great farms and growers in our community. Being able to see the students excited about guavas, apple pears, and sustainably farmed meats is really rewarding. Knowing that you are doing good for the community and the local economy is a great benefit from this grant that we hope to sustain for future years."