Fresno Unified is promising new kid-friendly menu items for the new school year and will provide more school breakfasts this year.
All school meals are free, no matter the student’s family income level. And because sometimes younger siblings come along with Mom or Dad when walking an older brother or sister to school, the littler kids also can get a free breakfast, the district announced.
“I know it’s going to be a model for other school districts to replicate,” Board President Veva Islas said at Wednesday’s trustees meeting.
Monday is the first day of school for Fresno Unified, the state’s third-largest school district.
Check Out the Meals App
Parents can check out the menu offerings through an app, which features an image and description of food items, and also an interactive website. The app can be accessed by searching “School Menus by Nutrislice on Google Play or the App Store or by visiting fresnounified.nutrislice.com.
New menu items include chicken tamale, several different kinds of pizza (French bread loaf cheese, buffalo chicken, and four meat), mini twin cheeseburger sliders, and boneless chicken wings with veggies and assorted sauces.
Fresno Unified has been taking steps to improve food offerings after hearing complaints about frozen and inedible food served on students’ meal trays. The district hired an executive chef to oversee food operations, and each school region has a chef to keep track of what’s being served at schools.
Meanwhile, across California schools are taking advantage of nearly $15 billion in state and federal funding to improve school meals, including offering organic salads, free-range grilled chicken, and vegan chana masala, CalMatters is reporting.
Last year California became the first state to provide free meals to all students, no matter their family’s income level. It’s an offshoot of the meals that schools provided during the pandemic when classrooms were closed to instruction but low-income students were still in need of the food assistance they had received when schools were open.