DECEMBER NUTRITION NEWSLETTER
December 01st, 2022
FARM TO SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT:
80,000 LBS. OF CALIFORNIA PRODUCE
Our Farm to School program is one of the most robust in California, and our team has been committed to Farm to School for years. As we get close to the halfway point of the school year, we thought we’d share a little bit about one of the areas we’re proudest of: Local Procurement.
What does that mean? Simply put, it means buying foods from local, California farmers as often as we can. Not only does this allow us to serve the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables, but we are supporting our local and state economies.
Trivia Time: Since July 2022, WaveCrest Cafe has purchased over 80,000 lbs of CA produce! That’s more than 40 tons of California fruits and veggies in just five months.
A few examples of the food we’ve purchased from local farms include:
- Stehly Farms Organics (3,500 lbs.)
- Sage Mountain (3,300 lbs.)
- Dassi (2,200 lbs.)
Those numbers include oranges, cucumbers, and romaine from Stehly Farms Organics. Cucumbers, romaine, and red leaf lettuce from Sage Mountain, and Persian cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from Dassi.
California produces more food than any state in the country, and agriculture is one of our most important industries, employing thousands of our neighbors and feeding people across the country and around the world.
As you look at our menus, know that we are serving the freshest seasonal foods straight from the farms that grow them, and that it happens every day.
MENU SPOTLIGHT: Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Texas Toast
As the weather gets cooler we wanted to offer a hearty and healthy version of comfort food. And there’s nothing better to warm you up on a brisk day than a delicious bowl of soup.
So our team put together this tasty version of broccoli cheddar soup just for our cafeterias. The creamy soup is packed with nutrient-rich broccoli and served with Texas Toast that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – perfect as a side item or for dipping in your soup.
Add our amazing selection of fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies and you’ll be warmed up and ready to learn!
Be sure to check your school’s menu to see your daily options and enjoy our fresh, healthy, and delicious meals!
WANT A JOB WITH PURPOSE? WE’RE HIRING!
If you’re looking for a job that lets you have fun and make a difference in the community, we’ve got one for you! With hours that don’t conflict with kids’ school schedules and a fantastic team of co-workers, WaveCrest Cafe may be just what you’re looking for. Work with a fantastic group of people and amazing students while fulfilling our mission to serve the best school meals.
Our team has the unique opportunity to interact with almost every student, every day. Those interactions make a big difference in our kids’ lives, and lead to long-lasting and meaningful friendships.
See all of our available positions here: https://wavecrestcafe.com/employment-opportunities/
HARVEST OF THE MONTH
FEATURED FOOD: APPLES
Is your classroom participating in Harvest Of The Month? It’s fun, easy, and completely engaging. In addition to classroom and home-based resources, we’ve added a gardening component this year to give you even more hands-on opportunities to experience the joy of discovering new ways to engage with food.
The featured item for December is apples! They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and there’s some truth to that. Apples are jam-packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber – a complex carbohydrate that helps the digestive system runs smoothly. The nutrients in apples are also helpful to improve breathing. Finally, there is evidence that apples can be better than coffee for getting you up and moving in the morning.
Apples are found throughout history and are one of the most widely cultivated plants in the world. Some of the oldest apple trees in the world are found in Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Wild apples are able to resist many diseases and pests that affect domestic apples.
- The grafting process of gardening has allowed for many strains of apples to be developed, from Granny Smith to Golden Delicious, Red, Fuji, and many more.
- There are 2,500 varieties grown in the US, and more than 7,500 worldwide.
- The apple industry in California dates back to the 1800s and orchards in Watsonville and Sebastopol. California currently ranks 5th in the US in apple production.
One of the farms that have been growing apples for the past 40 years is Smit Farms in Linden California, in the San Joaquin Valley. Smit Farms is the provider of our December Harvest Of The Month apples, delivering fresh, seasonal organic apples for our HOTM classrooms to sample. You can also get Smit Farms apples at several San Diego area farmer’s markets.
Learn more about apples and discover how delicious they are. You can download our Harvest of the Month resources for families here.
If your child’s teacher wants to sign up for the program, it’s easy. For more information about the program, classroom tasting parties, and more, email Scarlett Smith.
No Cost for School Meals This Year!
We are thrilled to announce that there will be no cost for school meals in this 2022-23 school year. What’s more, there is no paperwork required for anyone, making meals not just available at no cost, but accessible for all.
Not only can families save plenty of money on food, but with meals ready at school, you’ll have more time to spend together as a family! As always, we are committed to serving fresh, healthy, delicious meals, and working with as many local and California-based farms as possible.
Join us for breakfast and lunch daily. Good nutrition leads to better learning, and we are here to serve up tasty and nutritious meals to power learning all year long.
*** With meals being offered at no charge, we are anticipating more students will be dining with us. This may affect the availability of some entrees as we learn and adapt to greater numbers and meeting the demand.
FEATURED FARMER: DASSI FAMILY FARMS, LEUCADIA
Among the local, California farms we work with to feed our community, Dassi Family Farms is one of the closest. Located in Leucadia (their motto is, “From Leucadia With Love”), this family farm was founded in 2013 by then-skydiving instructors Jennifer and Patrick Dassi.
And while their skydiving interests saw Jennifer and Patrick flying above the clouds, their love of healthy foods and hydroponic farming has kept them grounded firmly in the world of growing fresh, healthy, and delicious produce.
WaveCrest Cafe’s cafeterias and salad bars have been loaded with their locally-grown Persian cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, which began in a hydroponic greenhouse just miles from our schools.
In addition to supplying amazing foods to WaveCrest Cafe, Dassi Family Farms participates in local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, as well as having their foods on sale at many local markets.
With food this fresh and tasty, we know that our students and staff are getting amazing food from our own backyard. Thank you, Dassi Family Farms, for being such a wonderful part of our Farm 2 School program!
RESOURCES, GRANTS, AND EVENTS
Request A Master Gardener For Your School
The San Diego County Master Gardener Association provides Master Gardeners to help schools set up and maintain gardens. Master Gardeners act as consultants, mentoring parents and teachers who request help with beginning or improving their school gardens. Request a garden consultant here.
Educational Garden Design Grant – Rolling Dates
The California Native Garden Foundation offers grants for school gardens that feature CA native plants. Types of support include garden design services, in-kind donations of plants and landscape materials, volunteer assistance, and direct financial assistance. Click here to learn more and to apply.
Solana Center Workshops – Rolling Dates
The Solana Center hosts a variety of workshops and lessons across San Diego County, with topics including composting, raising backyard chickens, green living, and water-wise gardening. Check out their events calendar here.
Bonnie’s Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program – Rolling Dates
Bonnie’s provides free mega-cabbage plants to 3rd-grade teachers across the US who want to participate. Students grow the cabbages and submit pictures and measurements of their harvest to be considered for a $1,000 scholarship. Find out how to participate here.
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(C) 2022 WaveCrest Cafe / Vista Unified School District
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor de igualdad de oportunidades.