San Francisco public school students haven't eaten fresh-cooked cafeteria food since the Reagan era. In fact, many schools no longer have kitchens; some have no more than a closet-sized room where prepackaged meals are reheated.
Enter the San Francisco Food Bank. Last year, with the SFUSD's blessing, the food bank commissioned a $180,000 study of the district's student-nutrition program — a study mostly paid for by ConAgra and the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation. The long-winded, labyrinthine results were delivered privately in December but have not yet been made public.
According to a memo obtained by SF Weekly and authored by Ed Wilkins, SFUSD's food-service director, the study makes a number of run-of-the-mill suggestions for reducing financial losses, spiffing up drab cafeterias, and serving breakfast in more elementary school classrooms. But it also contains a whopper: SFUSD and Oakland Unified School District should operate a central kitchen where meals for both districts could be cooked from scratch. Wilkins wrote that the Food Bank believes the joint commissary "may provide the best possible combination of flexibility, cultural sensitivity, coverage, and efficiency."