251407 School Food FOCUS

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:50 AM

Toni Liquori, EdD, MPH , c/o Public Health Solutions, School Food FOCUS, New York, NY
Launched in 2008, School Food FOCUS is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced and sustainably produced. To do this FOCUS has brought together a powerful and committed network of leaders – school food service professionals from nearly 40 of the largest school districts in the nation, their partnering organizations and other allies. FOCUS uses three core programmatic approaches: (1) a market-based procurement leveraging strategy; (2) a public policy advocacy path; and (3) a communications strategy. This presentation will concentrate on its procurement strategies that target the ‘whole plate' of school meals – fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy – both commodities (USDA Foods) and food purchased on the open market. Based in principles of participatory research and adult learning, FOCUS has developed a unique approach to procurement change in the form of Learning Labs in three individual school districts. The presenter will describe the design of the labs, some of the robust results and how this work is now transitioning to a regional approach in seven states of the upper Midwest. In addition, she will describe other procurement work taking aim at key foods on the school meals plate that are of significance nationwide.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe two successful strategies that have been applied to redirect school food procurement practices in accesses more regionally sourced and sustainably-produced foods.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: have designed programs that enable large school districts to re-direct their food purchasing towards regional and sustainably-produced foods.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.