Food Literacy Awareness Month September 2021
September is Food Literacy Awareness Month. Its purpose is to highlight the impact our food choices have on our health, the environment, and the economy and to raise awareness of the fact that these impacts are not experienced equitably.
Recent events related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have highlighted the role that nutrition and food literacy play in the academic success and physical and emotional wellbeing of students and families. School districts, Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Operators, community nutrition educators, health advocates, and charitable food organizations joined forces to ensure all students had the option to choose a nutritious meal.
We ask that you join us in September in building on our collective successes in providing nourishing school meals and nutrition education, by promoting Food Literacy Awareness Month. Your support will help empower communities across California to make healthful food choices for themselves, their families, and their communities.
- Add Food Literacy Awareness Month to your school newsletter by featuring school nutrition staff, locally grown menu items, school gardens, and nutrition education activities.
- Promote it on your social media accounts and school web pages.
- Partner with community nutrition educators and teachers to offer nutrition education activities in the classroom or online. Visit the following community nutrition education partners to learn more about programs and services available.
- Partner with a local farmer or food pantry to offer a mini farmers market for students.
- To locate a local food bank, visit the California Department of Social Services Food Bank web page .
- To locate a local farmer visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture Certified List of California Producers by County (PDF).
- Add California Thursdays to your school menu and highlight locally grown products. Learn more on the Center for Ecoliteracy California Thursdays web page.
How the CDE has Supported Food Literacy Awareness Over the Years
Food literacy is our priority too. For a number of years, the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Nutrition Services Division has supported food literacy awareness. Here are a few of our more recent activities:
- 2021—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond supported Universal School Meals in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021–22 State Budget for Education.
- 2020—The U.S. Department of Agriculture Team Nutrition awarded $300,000 to the CDE to fund school districts to develop standardized recipes using locally grown products and to provide nutrition education.
- 2020—The CDE partnered with No Kid Hungry to host the Child Nutrition Access Institute which brought together the nutrition and food system partners to address food insecurity and promote CNPs.
- 2018—The CDE launched the first California (CA) Farm to Summer Challenge week to encourage CNPs to participate in Farm to Summer activities.
Additional information is available on the CDE Nutrition Education in CA Schools web page.
For more food literacy and nutrition education resources visit the CDE CNPs Resource Library web page.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the CDE Education and Nutrition Policy Unit by email at HHKFA@cde.ca.gov.