The School Food Initiative runs week-long culinary training events called Culinary Boot Camps (www.schoolfood.org/go/projects/boot-camp) for school district’s food service staff across Santa Barbara County. Boot Camps address the lack of continuing professional development and culinary training for food service staff.
This program was developed by professional chefs, who have experience in both school kitchens and educational settings, to specifically address the needs of school kitchens. Keeping in mind the specific requirements that school food service personnel must meet and the unique limitations of school facilities and budgets, Boot Camp is designed to expose attendees to practical techniques that can be introduced in their kitchens as they move towards scratch cooking.
The Boot Camp has been hugely successful: boosting food service workers moral, empowering them to make a huge difference in the lives and health of the children they serve, and critically important – recognizing and respecting their skills and abilities as food service professionals!
CCG’s mock boot camp is designed for funders working at the intersection of agriculture, food, and health, as part of the Creating Common Ground series. School food was identified as one of the topic areas CCG funders want to explore in greater detail. This day long boot camp has been designed to meet our goal of learning from real-life situations/context and to get us all into more active (literally speaking!) conversations. We will spend the day at Carpinteria Unified High School’s new culinary academy as we test our knife skills, learn about what’s worked in Santa Barbara County, and learn from you about what’s worked in your school food programming. It will be a fun, full day as we learn and work together.
The Orfalea Foundation has seen real change and progress in schools throughout Santa Barbara County since the inception of their School Food Initiative. A large reason the initiative has had such a big impact on the region is the more holistic funding approach which has helped to create a new culture and attitude among the staff, teachers, and students in order to carry’s the work forward for years to come.