I’ve attended a few workshops where we’ve been asked to imagine our ideal cafeteria of the future and then collaborate to create a visual of what it might look like. They always share so many things in common: an abundance of fresh foods, farmers making deliveries to the school, children picking produce from their own school gardens, and color. Lots and lots of color in the varieties of foods to the brightly painted walls and chairs. Many of these cafeterias show children interacting with the food staff, wearing chef’s hats and acting as “Chef of the Week” with their newly created recipes. Funny how none of these depictions show a meek line of unsatisfied students slogging through what looks like a line at a prison to receive their tray of processed, prepackaged unidentifiable slop. Surprisingly they also never include an overbearing lunchroom monitor towering over the kids as they sit in silence as punishment for being too loud. Any of that sound remotely familiar to you?
Yesterday I came across this amazing project that was created by the innovative think tank, Ideo. They were approached by the San Francisco Unified School District to come up with a plan to really shake up their food system and fix a service that was underutilized and in debt. Their proposal follows. It’s all about thinking outside the box.