Informing solutions for change

FOCUS brings a new voice to the chorus of school food advocates:

  • We emphasize a food-based approach, rather than a nutrient-based one, and understand the importance of improving and innovating on the supply side—where food is coming from;
  • We seek policy changes and technical assistance that will advance large-scale regional procurement models of more healthful foods;
  • We develop recommendations on the issues most relevant to large school districts, framing these priorities in alliance with a wide range of school food, nutrition, health, and farm-to-school groups to inform policymakers about opportunities for improvement.

The Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR) of 2010 and implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill are two pieces of legislation of great importance to school food advocates. CNR provides an opportunity to affect change in the longer term, while work within the USDA helps to widen options in the short term.

A policy briefing booklet, Nourishing the Nation: One Tray at a Time [PDF], was co-published with our One Tray Team partners—National Farm to School Network and Community Food Security Coalition. It is being used to develop a stronger voice within the Child Nutrition Reauthorization process.

OneTray has also developed 10 recommendations for USDA that are presented in the What Can USDA Do? [PDF] document. Through USDA’s 2009 initiative, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food,” several of these recommendations have been set into motion—an exciting victory for One Tray and for FOCUS.

School Food FOCUS also played a lead role in drafting and securing endorsements for a resolution adopted at the 2009 US Conference of Mayors that supports our CNR policy priorities.