American school lunches haven’t changed much over the years, and when mentioned in passing conversation might not invoke memories of warmth or nostalgia, instead, you’re more likely to vomit where you’re standing. However, the health-focused Sweetgreen and FoodCorps plan on bringing some revolutionary changes to public school cafeterias across the nation.
In a recent article at Forbes, news broke that the two food service businesses are working together to champion a new initiative they are calling “Reimagining School Cafeterias.”
According to the report “the initiative builds off existing programs operated separately by each organization. By teaming up, the partners aim to broaden their impact and utilize their combined knowledge and technical acumen to craft engaging and informative cafeteria experiences for children centered on nutritious food.”
According to Nathanial Ru, the founder, and chief brand officer at Sweetgreen, “With FoodCorps we can really scale the idea of Sweetgreen in Schools [their existing program] with a focus on school cafeterias.” Ru continues stating “It’s the responsibility of companies to show up where they can make an impact… We realized with Sweetgreen in Schools that we could actually have a lot more impact by working with an organization like FoodCorps than by doing it ourselves.”
Currently, the Sweetgreen in Schools program is available for around 9,000 students in public schools across the country which have prioritized having healthy and nutritious options available in their cafeterias instead of simply signing contracts with the lowest bidders.
Curt Ellis, co-founder, and CEO of FoodCorps is also excited for the opportunities available by teaming up with Sweetgreen. “The ways in which they incorporate technology into their work is fascinating to us” Ellis explained during his praise of his new partner, “and the ways in which they do high-quality sourcing of foods from local producers is really exciting.”
Describing Sweetgreen as his “dream partner” Ellis motivated by the chance this new initiative gives to be both “fulfilling and rewarding” for the two companies to help impact America’s students.
While the full initiative does not have a target date for commercial rollout, Reimaging School Cafeterias is currently being piloted at several “elementary schools across the country.” Over the next several academic years the program will be exposed to a test group of approximately “6,400 students are 15 schools with the goal of reaching an estimated 22,000 students at 50 schools by the 2020-2021 school year.”