Princeton School Garden Cooperative

The Princeton School Garden Cooperative (PSGC) has been fostering garden- and food-based education in the classroom, cafeteria and the Princeton community since 2005 in partnership with public school staff, farmers, chefs, restaurateurs, and local institutions including the University.   The organization’s vision is that every high school graduate (and by extension, their parents) leaves the district with a good measure of civic awareness, self-reliance and food security and can grow a salad, read a label, set a table, cook for themselves and nurture their friends and family – and understand that their food choices, in effect, are votes.   The food that students eat affects their academic achievements; studies show that malnourished students do not learn and perform at their best. PSGC wants to learn what other similar districts (i.e. schools that outsource their meals, have families from a wide range of income levels, and are comparable in size) do to provide nutritious and locally-produced food in their cafeterias.   How do districts with exemplary food service leverage the resources available to them in their local communities to bring healthy food to their students’ plates?