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We work with the Monterey Peninsula, Oakland, Santa Clara, La Honda - Pescadero, and Tustin Unified school districts, along with UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley to deliver local seafood that was once discarded as bycatch. Pacific grenadier, our bycatch fish, is now being served in public school lunches in tacos and salads, replacing less popular fish sticks, and out-selling the traditional pizza students love so much! We are currently in conversation with other schools throughout California to provide local, sustainable seafood for their students as well.
As part of the larger California Thursdays initiative supported by The Center for Ecoliteracy, we are working to feed our children local nutritious meals, reduce food miles, and support sustainable regional food systems.
Why are we doing this? Most students do not have access to healthy proteins such as seafood due to either geographical or financial limitations. Creating healthy meals for under $1.25 per student (a typical budget) is incredibly challenging, but we are endowed with abundant local species that can provide one of the healthiest proteins possible, at any price. Giving students access to healthy local seafood is not only benefits in the short term, but also in the long term, exposing them to the bounty of our oceans which teaches the importance and benefits of making local seafood a regular part of their diet. As the agricultural industry has learned, introducing young students to local produce like carrots, kale, broccoli, etc. at an early age exposes them to healthy eating before they develop unhealthy habits. This is especially important in communities when unhealthy foods are more readily available.
As the first program of its kind in California, we are excited to see Bay2Tray grow. If you're interested in learning more, please email us at member(at)realgoodfish(dot)com.