The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) realizes the importance of healthy nutrition in order for students to learn.
They also realized that students weren’t able to enjoy a meal in their current dining area. The space didn’t encourage students to get to know each other. SFUSD wanted to change this. With the help from a Hunger Is grant, the students of Thurgood Marshall were able to work with The Future Dining Experience and The Future Project during the 2014-2015 school-year to reimagine their school dining area and to hopefully encourage a sense of community.
Students were closely involved throughout the whole re-design process. There were a few students who formed a Cafeteria Revamp Squad (aka “Dream Squad”) which helped to create a collaborative space that incorporated ideas from the entire student body. Workshops and menu planning sessions were held with over 100 students involved to discuss what the students were after. They helped with everything from graphics and colors to even sketching what they wanted the new space to look like.
After several meetings, workshops and discussions, they found the students were after four things: they wanted their senses stimulated, to feel valued, feel connected to the food, and their voices to be heard.
Five months later, the new dining area was revealed in a celebration lunch in May 2015 where student leaders spoke about the redesign and the changes they had seen within the school. Student speakers used phrases like, “community” and a “place where students can get to know one another” to describe the new dining area. One kid even mentioned this was so important to him because this new space where students can talk to each other and hang out could potentially help alleviate racism.
Before the redesign (left) and after (right) at Thurgood Marshall High School.
Everyone at the celebration agreed that the redesign helped to create a healthy community around food for these students to grow and thrive in. At Hunger Is we’re so proud to have been a part of it. Check out the amazing results of the new dining space featured in this episode of Thurgood Marshall Cribs.
To learn more about the SFUSD Future Dining Experience visit http://www.sfusdfuturedining.org/.
— Richard Carranza (@SFUSD_Supe) May 22, 2015