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Celebrating School Meal Heroes Like Donnie Barclift

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

We love to lift up stories of good people and good organizations doing great work in support healthy eating in schools. So we didn’t want you to miss this nutritious story about Donnie Barclift, a supervisor for Food and Nutrition Services in Oakland Unified School District.

Drawing his inspiration from watching the Food Network and from watching the kinds of things that kids want to eat, Barclift comes up with creative and nutritious food meal recipes that he can create for OUSD students. He makes good use of the old fashioned taste test to see what meal ideas are most appealing to students.

“Thinking about kids, I thought that it would be such a wonderful blessing to be able to say years from now that we took a generation of kids and we changed their eating habits and now they’re living healthier, longer, productive, wonderful lives.”

Barclift is emblematic of some wonderful work being done on the part of Oakland Unified School District to support a healthy school food environment, which includes the building of a new central kitchen to support more fresh food options; developing a 1.5 acre farm to source vegetables and teach students about food; and partnering with San Diego USD and Riverside USD in School Food Focus’s national procurement initiative to source local California foods for California kids.


View the School Meal Hero video on YouTube.

Visit the Health Happens in Schools Facebook page, a California Endowment campaign.

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