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As part of the larger California Thursdays initiative supported by The Center for Ecoliteracy, we are working to feed our children locally-sourced, nutritious meals, reduce food miles, and support sustainable regional food systems.
We work with California school districts and institutions to deliver local seafood that was once discarded as bycatch. Pacific grenadier, rather than being cast aside , is now being served in public school lunches in tacos and soups, replacing processed fish sticks, and out-selling other popular entrees, even pizza!
Why are we doing this? Most students do not have access to healthy proteins, like fresh seafood, because of geographical or financial limitations. Creating nutrient-dense meals for under $1.25 per student (a typical school lunch budget) is incredibly challenging; seafood can provide one of the most nourishing proteins possible, at any price.
Coupled with fisherman in the classroom visits, feeding students local seafood not only benefits them in the short term, but also in the long term by exposing them to the bounty of our oceans and the benefits of supporting local fisherman. As the farm-to-school movement has learned, introducing young students to local produce like carrots and kale at an early age exposes them to healthy eating habits that support lifelong health. This is especially important in food desert communities where fresh, local foods are not readily available.
As the first program of its kind in California, we are committed to bring Bay2Tray to more communities. If you're interested in learning more, please email us at member(at)realgoodfish(dot)com.