This week San Francisco Unified chose Revolution Foods as its new school meals vendor, moving away from frozen entrées to fresh breakfasts and lunches made with produce purchased locally.

Oakland-based Revolution Foods came in with the lowest bid, but the district’s new requirements for fresh, local produce will raise the overall cost by $928,000, to nearly $10 million annually. The district, which serves more than 56,000 students, will start offering the Revolution Foods menu in January.

“I am proud and happy that my school district is willing to provide better quality school meals despite the higher price,” said Dana Woldow, a parent and healthy food advocate whose efforts to improve the food served to the district’s school children is chronicled in an occasional paper by EdSource.

The school board’s vote was unanimous. “We’ve been very, very clear that we want to improve the quality of foods for our students,” said board member Rachel Norton. If higher quality, fresh food is “where you want to go, this is what you have to spend,” she said.

The northern California branch of Revolution Foods, which has focused on small districts and charter schools, currently serves about 33,000 lunches daily, according to Norton. With the San Francisco contract, that will rise to 55,000. Nationwide, Revolution Foods serves about 145,000 meals a day, which includes breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.

Revolution Foods was started with private funding. “We’re still working on making a profit,” said Maureen Sedonaen, vice president, Northern California. “We’re in the building stage.”

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