WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2021 – The Urban School Food Alliance, a coalition of the largest school districts in the United States that includes New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Dallas, is pleased to announce that it will expand its membership to 17 districts with the addition of San Diego Unified School District and Shelby County Schools (Memphis, TN). These new members broaden the Alliance’s impact to more than 4 million children nationwide and the group’s total annual purchasing power to more than $875 million in food and food supplies.
“These two districts are leaders in school food service and exemplify our mission of providing healthy meals to all students through sustainable and socially responsible practices,” said Dr. Katie Wilson, Urban School Food Alliance Executive Director. “Their membership will expand the geographic reach of the Alliance and strengthen the collective voice of our members in sharing industry best practices and pushing for systems level change.”
The Alliance is a data-driven non-profit organization focused on advancing material changes to school nutrition in the United States. Its achievements include helping school districts adopt an antibiotic-free standard for poultry, even before many of the nation’s leading restaurants called for healthier poultry on their menus, and removing 225 million polystyrene trays from landfills every year by implementing compostable round plates in school cafeterias.
San Diego Unified School District is the second largest public school district in California, serving more than 103,000 students across 226 educational facilities. Shelby County Schools is Tennessee’s largest public school district. Formerly comprised of two smaller districts, Shelby County Schools serves over 110,500 students in more than 214 schools.
“San Diego Unified Food & Nutrition is very excited to join the Urban School Food Alliance,” said Frederick Espinosa, Interim Food Service Director. “Joining the Alliance will supply another valuable source of resources for us to utilize to help steer our program and reach our goal of providing healthy food to support successful students.”
“Under our current strategic plan at Shelby County Schools, we are reimagining education, our schools, and our community of Memphis,” said Eugene Bradford, Executive Director of Nutrition Services. “The Urban School Food Alliance’s mission and vision align seamlessly with our efforts. However, as we reimagine our district, our work would not be complete without taking additional steps to support the health and wellness of our students. We look forward to partnering with our member districts to strategize, advocate, and share best practices.”