We Need Your Support, Donate to Mid-City CAN

rss-icon twitter-icon google-plus-iconfacebook-icon

Mid-City CAN Blog

Mid-City CAN and district discuss school lunches

 

The Mid-City CAN Food Justice Momentum Team met with San Diego Unified Food Service Director Gary Petill (crouching, blue shirt and tie) and Board Member Richard Barrera (light blue shirt, hands folded) on March 24 at the Revere Center. Team member Bilal Muya (crouching, black jacket) said the meeting was important because, “We want to see halal food in the school. We want to see more protein, including fish on the menu.” Mid-City CAN photo

The Mid-City CAN Food Justice Momentum Team met with
San Diego 
Unified Food Service Director Gary Petill (crouching,
blue shirt and tie) and Board Member Richard Barrera (light
blue shirt, hands folded) on March 24 at the Revere Center.
Team member Bilal Muya (crouching, black jacket) said the
meeting was important because, "We want to see halal food
in the school. We want to see more protein, including fish on
the menu." Mid-City CAN photo

On March 24, a group of Mid-City CAN Food Justice Momentum Team members met with representatives of the San Diego Unified School District, including Food Service Director Gary Petill and Board Member Richard Barrera, at the Revere Center.


The district representatives agreed to the group’s goals of including more of the following items in school lunches:

  • fresh, organic produce from City Heights farmers
  • a pilot program starting in City Heights schools for a certified halal meat option and labeling certified halal foods. Halal is an Islamic term that designates food –often meat – and its preparation as permissible for Muslims to eat.
  • a healthy fish option

 Bilal Muya, co-chair of the Mid-City CAN Food Justice Momentum Team, describes the meeting and the group’s goals:

By Bilal Muya

The purpose of the trip was to have a face-to-face meeting with Gary Petill and Richard Barrera. This was a major meeting. We went there to exchange some thoughts, to be able to see what they have done in school, also to present what our campaign is demanding. It was really important to meet with them. It was well presented by the team, for them to see that there is really a need in the community.

We are the Food Justice Momentum Team. We are a group of residents and parents sitting down and discussing issues that are affecting our children – school lunches. We want to see halal food in the school. We want to see more protein, including fish on the menu. Our team is decorated by diversity. We have people from the Somali community, Ethiopian community, Bantu community, Vietnamese, Latinos and others from all over the place. Those are the ingredients we are carrying in our team.

Our goal is to be able to have a halal food option in the schools, and also have more protein served in the school lunches. The other part also is the food that the schools are buying, if they can source it from local growers, like some of the farmers in City Heights, New Roots farmers and also the Bahati Mamas. That is what we are demanding.

The meeting was really a part of learning also. Learning the policy and the school district and learning who to talk to.  We were developing a relationship with Gary Petill, the districts food service’s director, and Richard Barrera, on the school board. So we decided as a team to participate and go there. They presented their presentation, what they are doing, what changes they have made. And we represented our case to them – there were students who spoke and parents who spoke.

They said, “OK, yes, we can do this. We can walk together to do this.” That’s how we left it. That is how that campaign is going and we are still pushing forward. We are planning to meet with them more and more. What’s next for our group is to see. We can’t just take this for granted and we will keep following up and doing campaigns. We will have more meetings, presenting our case in different communities and still engage City Heights residents. We are still working.

We are getting information from the students – we did 820 surveys from students. … Those from different cultures, they say they don’t like the food of the school, so there is some change that needs to be done in school. Some of the students say, “I only eat the food for survival, but I don’t like the food.” And that is a powerful statement to me.

Students say to have halal option that is the thing. It is needed. It is needed in the school. [About 70 percent of students said it was important to have halal options at school. More than 600 of the survey respondents attend Crawford High School.]

Muya is also a farm educator at San Diego’s International Rescue Committee and board secretary for the Somali Bantu Community of San Diego

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

REACH US AT

(619) 272-7582

PHYSICAL ADDRESS:
4305 UNIVERSITY AVE.
SUITE 550
SAN DIEGO, CA 92105

MAILING ADDRESS:
P.O. Box 12319
SAN DIEGO, CA 92112



Quotation (Left)

The Mid-City Community Advocacy Network's mission is to create a safe, productive,Quotation (Right)
and healthy community through collaboration, advocacy, and organizing.




Fiscal sponsor Mission Edge San Diego.


COPYRIGHT © 1995-CURRENT, MID-CITY CAN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.