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Other Farm to School Resources

FY20 USDA Farm-to-School Grant Resources

In July 2022, OSSE received a USDA Farm to School Grant. The resources below were developed as a part of that initiative. Please note, this project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Serving Culturally Appropriate Meals in DC

Meal programs across DC are showcasing foods that reflect some students’ cultural experiences and serve as learning opportunities for others. Sometimes described as culturally appropriate or culturally relevant meals, these are the foods and practices that make a meal significant to an individual, their family, or their community.

With the support of a fiscal year 2020 (FY20) United States Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) dedicated time in 2022 to learn more about the efforts Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) in DC are taking to serve meals that reflect participating students and their families.

Use the steps below to catch-up on the conversation, reflect on what culturally appropriate meals means to you and share your thoughts.

Step 1: Learn

Hear CNPs discuss their strategies for incorporating dishes like joloff rice, arroz con pollo and chicken tandoori into their menu and suggestions for discussing food traditions in the classroom with the resources below.

  • March 2022 Self-Prep Community of Practice (CoP) Meeting: March’s Self-Prep CoP gathering focused on organizational needs and priorities, including a conversation about culturally appropriate foods. View the meeting notes, presentation and recording here.
  • February 2022 Outdoor Learning CoP: Take a deep dive into exploring food cultures and traditions with FoodPrints and OSSE’s Food Corps Service Member here.

Step 2: Reflect

Now that you have had a chance to hear from others, take some time to think about what culturally relevant foods mean to you. Consider the following questions to guide you in your reflection.

  • What is a meal that is significant to you, your family and/or your culture?
  • How does a CNP determine what is culturally relevant?
  • What existing practices in your nutrition program, classroom, or community help students see themselves and their families as valued?
  • What existing practices in your nutrition program, classroom, or community help students learn about cultures and traditions different from their own?
  • How can you learn more about meals or practices that are significant to those with whom you work?
  • What food cultures and traditions have you observed in your community and how could they be celebrated?
  • What does sharing about food cultures and traditions mean to you?
  • How does food culture differ from food traditions? How are they alike?

Step 3: Share

OSSE is interested in learning from you about current or future efforts to serve meals that reflect your students and their families. Share your thoughts about culturally appropriate foods using this jamboard.

Related Content: Farm to School Program