Community Action Marin’s “Central Kitchen” is where all of the meals for our child development programs are prepared each day. Located in San Rafael, the kitchen prepares breakfast, lunch and snacks for over 700 children in over thirty classrooms throughout Marin County.
Each day the kitchen prepares a lunch that is delivered hot to the various Community Action Marin Head Start, Early Head Start and Child Development Program classrooms. A typical lunch might include spaghetti and meat sauce with a spinach salad and pears, or a bean soft taco with lettuce, avocado, fresh salsa and sliced mangos. The menu reflects the students’ multi-cultural background but also attempts to introduce children to new foods and provide a framework for making healthy food choices. With obesity and diabetes becoming a national health epidemic, introducing healthy foods at an early age can have a long term positive impact on health.
Why Community Action Marin’s Central Kitchen is Important
For some of the children, the meals from Community Action Marin’s Central Kitchen are the most nutritious meals they will eat all day. For all of the children, the high quality healthy meals made from scratch help to improve nutritional well being, thus supporting their physical, intellectual and emotional growth. Further, these meals serve as a form of nutrition education for parents who participate in classroom activities.
How It Works
Meals are served “family style”, at communal tables with teachers who model age-appropriate behaviors and encourage children to try new foods. Additionally, many of the classrooms have on-site gardens where the children participate in growing fruits and vegetables. This outdoor education is integrated into the classroom curriculum, and the fruits and vegetables grown by the children supplement the meals prepared by the kitchen.