Fast casual restaurant Sweetgreen announced a partnership on Monday with food non-profit Foodcorps to bring healthier food options into school cafeterias.
“Pledging $1 million over the next two years, Sweetgreen is committed to creating a scalable model that works to advance the health of our nation’s 30 million students eating lunch every day,” Sweetgreen announced on their website.
The two companies put together an initiative called “Sweetgreen in Schools” that is based off a program by the same name that Sweetgreen launched back in 2010, according to Forbes. That program allowed 9,000 fourth and fifth grade students to be provided with nutrition education.
“Using flavor stations and tech-driven taste tests, this initiative will pilot innovative ways to guide students to experiment with real food and make healthier choices for their future,” Sweetgreen wrote.
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Meet Adrian – 5th grader at Mar Vista Elementary School in Oxnard, CA. ????Sound on to hear his dream lunch. #SGinSchools 30 million American students rely on school meals for nourishment every day. But 10 million kids are on track to develop diet related diseases like type-2- diabetes. We think kids deserve #WaaayBetter. So we’ve partnered with @foodcorps and real kids across the country to reimagine school lunch. And with 5 billion meals served in public schools each year, we’ve got a lot of minds to feed. Follow our progress at impact.sweetgreen.com
Pairing up with an organization like Foodcorps, which has connections in academics, research and policy, will allow “Sweetgreen in Schools” to reach more children Sweetgreen co-founder Nathaniel Ru told Forbes.
“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 ourselves,” Ru said.
Curt Ellis, co-founder of Foodcorps, says Sweetgreen is a “dream partner” and that with the help of them the “Sweetgreen in Schools” re-launch will better engage children in the school food experience. (RELATED: Years After Obama’s School Lunch Rules, Kids Fatter Than Ever)
“There are 30 million children a day who walk in the front doors of our nation’s schools. Those kids are going there to learn but they are also going there to eat,” Ellis said. “If we care about the next generation of kids and their health and long-term potential, we better fix school food.”
There are already three pilot programs underway in three different elementary schools that allow children to experiment with healthy food options.