Oakland Schools Now Serving Community Grains Pasta

Three types of whole-grain pasta from the Oakland-based outfit will now reach tens of thousands of Oakland students.


Kristan Lawson

A new partnership has just been announced between the Oakland Unified School District and Oakland-based Community Grains, whose whole-wheat pastas are now being served in 85 of OUSD's K-12 schools and in twenty different child development centers for preschoolers.

A total of about 38,000 students are now being served the pastas, which are crafted using whole-milled Northern California-grown grains extruded through brass dies and slowly air-dried in Sonoma--and maintaining a high nutritional profile including magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, and many vitamins.

OUSD's Farm to School program includes several initiatives aimed at improving school food--such as incorporating school-garden produce into menus and educating school communities about the importance of local farms. 

The connection with Community Grains resulted from numerous positive taste tests with students, and has aroused interest in similar partnerships with other California schools--which can now access these whole-grain pastas thanks to Community Grains' work with Gold Star and Daylight distributors.

"We are excited about the opportunity to provide high quality California-grown pasta from this Oakland-based company to our students. The partnership is a key component of our expanding Farm to School efforts," said OUSD's Farm to School Supervisor Alexandra Emmott.

Community Grains also aims to facilitate speaking engagements for California wheat farmers at local schools, where they can help students connect the dots between farm, farmer and lunch.

“The resurgence of local grain, grown well, is in its relative infancy, but that shouldn’t hinder kids from eating more whole, plant-based foods today," said Community Grains founder Bob Klein.

"As an Oakland-based company, we’re thrilled to join forces with OUSD as they take yet another step to bring more wholesome foods into the system. The flour for our pasta was milled specifically to deliver more of the good stuff with every bite--and we’re proud to say it tastes just as good.”

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