NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2017 – Boston Public Schools (BPS) becomes the latest member of the Urban School Food Alliance (the Alliance). The Alliance is a coalition of the largest school districts in the United States that includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Orange County in Orlando, Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Clark County in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Baltimore. The anchor city for New England, BPS’ addition expands the Urban School Food Alliance’s membership to 11 districts.
“It is an honor to be a part of the Urban School Food Alliance,” said Laura Benavidez, executive director of Food and Nutrition Services at BPS. “Boston Public Schools’ membership in the Alliance will expand student access to high-quality foods that improve health and academic outcomes. Thanks to support from the Kendall Foundation, Boston’s membership in the Alliance will serve our mission of increasing access to locally- and sustainably-produced food, and allows the district to explore emerging best practices in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious, and delicious food for our students.”
Boston’s membership makes the Alliance’s collective student reach to nearly 3.7 million. The largest school district in Massachusetts, BPS has a total student enrollment of 57,000 students at 125 school sites.
“We’re excited to welcome Boston as it becomes the anchor city for New England in the Urban School Food Alliance,” said Eric Goldstein, chairman of the Alliance and chief executive officer of School Support Services for the New York City Department of Education. “Over the last year, the Alliance has been able to almost double its membership. This year’s addition of Boston, Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Clark County in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Baltimore showcases the food service directors’ commitment to achieve nothing but the best for their students.”
A nonprofit group, member districts in the Urban School Food Alliance share best practices and leverage their collective purchasing power to drive school food quality up and costs down through socially responsible practices. Together, its districts serve more than 631 million meals annually. The Urban Schools Food Alliance’s total purchasing power has grown to $831 million in food and supplies as more and more of the Alliance schools offer Breakfast in the Classroom and its districts become eligible to offer breakfast and lunch districtwide at no charge through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
The Urban School Food Alliance has already created systemic changes in the food service world for healthier, nutritious meals for students. Even before many of the nation’s leading restaurants called for healthier poultry in their menus, the Alliance already adopted a policy to help school districts move toward an antibiotic-free standard for companies to follow when supplying chicken products to its schools. In addition, the Alliance rolled out the use of compostable round plates at cafeterias, removing 225 million polystyrene trays from landfills every year to ensure sound environmental practices.
About the Urban School Food Alliance
The Urban School Food Alliance was created by school food professionals in 2012 to address the unique needs of the nation’s largest school districts. The nonprofit group allows the districts to share best practices and leverage their purchasing power to continue to drive quality up and costs down while incorporating sound environmental practices. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade, Orange County in Orlando, Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Clark County in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston together offer service in more than 5,600 schools to nearly 3.7 million children daily. This translates to more than 631 million meals a year. The coalition aims to ensure that all public school students across the nation receive healthy, nutritious meals through socially responsible practices. To learn more about the Urban School Food Alliance or to support its work, please visit www.urbanschoolfoodalliance.org.