While eating a meal of spaghetti covered in marinara sauce and meatballs, fourth-grader Dennis Arguijo and his friends mused about what foods they would like served at Tenderloin Elementary School.
“Chicken potpies,” Dennis said.
Kristin Richmond, co-founder of Revolution Foods, called over executive chef Amy Klein to talk about the idea.
It was only the third day that Oakland-based Revolution Foods was serving meals at the 114 public schools in The City, and already it was taking requests.
“This is so great to get these ideas,” Richmond said as she sat next to San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza.
She said the company takes ideas from students back to a kitchen where they work on turning them into wholesome, natural meals.
Revolution Foods is the new food provider for the SFUSD after securing the contract in December. The district, which previously had the same provider since 2003, had said it wanted to bring in food for its students that was not cooked far away, frozen, shipped and then reheated.
In order to provide the roughly 35,000 meals served daily, the company had to ramp up production quickly, Richmond and fellow co-founder Kirsten Tobey said.
The company is cooking the meals at its Oakland kitchen and then preparing them at a distribution center in South San Francisco, the company said. The close proximity allows for the food to be served fresh.
Carranza said the reviews have been enthusiastic.
The superintendent said the food served at schools is a big issue for him, especially with the correlation between nutrition and academic success.
“Kids that are fed, that are nutritionally sound, do better in school,” Carranza said. “They learn more. They come to school prepared.”
Carranza said the district is continuing to work on a five-year plan for improving all food offered in schools, including for students who otherwise do not have access to healthy meals.
“San Francisco is a world-class city,” Carranza said. “San Francisco Unified is a world-class district. We are really interested in having world-class food in our schools as well.”