Rethinking School Lunch Oakland (RSLO) works to fix this. RSLO will implement a food system network connecting nutrition, education, and community programs at each of the District’s school site kitchens, school gardens, and produce market stands. At the hub of this network will be the Central Kitchen, Instructional Farm, and Education Center (The Center). The Center will host traditional classroom space, a culinary arts classroom, and an outdoor instructional farm, all of which will contribute to substantial Linked Learning & Career Pathway opportunities. Children District-wide will benefit from hands-on instruction that links academic concepts to culinary, botanical, and agricultural training and will learn about nutrition, the chemistry of cooking, hospitality and business management skills. The Center will also provide a weekly produce market for the community around it. We expect that this Center, with a near-acre instructional farm, will create a draw to the neighborhood. But most important, the Center will allow us to provide fresh nutrient-rich meals, prepared the same day at individual school sites, to 94% of our schools District-wide and nearly all of our Child Development Centers.
The Oakland Unified School District has released documents related to its environmental review of The Center project, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). These documents include an Initial Study, which details the evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and determination that the project will not have a significant effect on the environment. The project incorporates mitigation measures that will reduce any potential environmental impact to a less-than-significant level. The Oakland Unified School District has released the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Initial Study (MND/IS) for public review. You can access these documents here.
The proposed MND/IS is available for review at the following locations: Oakland Unified School District Legal Department, 1000 Broadway, Room 680, Oakland, CA 94607, daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM or by appointment (call 510-879-8535). The proposed MND/IS may also be reviewed on the project website: www.ousdthecenter.org, West Oakland Branch Oakland Public Library 1801 Adeline Street Oakland, CA 94607, and Hoover Elementary School 890 Brockhurst Street Oakland, CA 94607.
Any interested party may comment on the project or the proposed MND/IS. All comments received will be considered by the District prior to finalizing the MND/IS and making a decision on the project. Comments should focus on the sufficiency of the proposed MND/IS in discussing possible impacts on the physical environment and ways in which potential adverse effects might be minimized in light of the MND/IS’s purpose to provide useful and accurate information about such factors. Comments must be received no later than October 28, 2015 and should be sent in writing to the following address: Jacqueline Minor, General Counsel Oakland Unified School District 1000 Broadway, Suite 680 Oakland, CA 94607 Fax: 510-879-4046 Email: Jacqueline.Minor@ousd.org
If we want all our students to thrive, we must create the conditions for success. Equitable access to healthy food is critical to this. School meals are one important way we can increase our students’ access to healthy food, regardless of demographics, background, or zip code. We need your support Rethinking School Lunch Oakland and the Central Kitchen, Education Center, and Instructional Farm.
Please let our children know they have your support by submitting your public comments by the October 28 deadline.