The school year is off and running, propelled by the new nutritious energy of Acre Gourmet, a socially responsible, environmentally conscious purveyor of all that is good to eat in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
The move to Acre Gourmet was made after many months of thoughtful consideration. Below is an excerpt of a letter from Hamlin’s Head of School, Wanda M. Holland Greene.
By the time one Kindergarten girl finishes Grade 8 at Hamlin (in June 2026!), she will have eaten well over 1500 school lunches in our dining rooms! Wow. That’s 1500 not-to-be-missed opportunities to strengthen her body and mind with healthy and nutritious meals. That’s also 1500 important opportunities for her to experience new types and combinations of freshly prepared food. Perhaps most importantly, that’s 1500+ daily opportunities for a girl to strengthen her connection to her Hamlin sisters and deepen her appreciation of the incredible abundance of the natural world that we are so fortunate to live with here in the Bay Area.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the food we offer daily at Hamlin has a profound impact on the growth and development of our girls’ bodies and minds. That is why we have spent the last fourteen months taking a hard look at our food program, to understand how it can rise to the same level of excellence and positive impact that we expect from all areas of our educational program.
To understand Acre Gourmet’s peerless commitment to quality food, please read their guiding principles found below.
Acre Real School Lunch – Guiding Principles
- Cook food from scratch
- Keep food affordable without compromising quality
- Keep food choices inclusive of particular health and diet needs
- Support and use local and organic ingredients
- Use grass-fed meat and free range poultry, free of hormones and antibiotics
- Use only natural, non-hydrogenated oils in our cooking and dressings
- Serve food fresh and hot, not reheated
- Respect the environment through sustainable practices like our full composting/recycling program that aims for ‘zero waste’
Acre Real School Lunch – Goals for a Better Food Culture
- Educate and empower kids through the experience of eating our real food
- Create dining areas that promote collegiality, conversation and friendship
- Consciously integrate sustainable principles into the school curriculum including student farm visits, school gardens and inspiring guest speakers
- Bring families and farmers together through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Acre Real School Lunch – Menus
- Greatly exceed USDA guidelines for nutrition
- Are low in sugar and free of trans fats
- Are continually changing and offer a wide variety of healthy choices within each meal
- Embrace cultural diversity
- Are appetizing to a younger palate (for inspiration we ask kids for their favorite recipes)
- Pay special attention to vegetarian and vegan options and all dietary/allergy concerns
As part of our new school food program, we have hired Tali Biale as our Food Program Manager. Ms. Biale looks forward to educating Hamlin students about the nuances of food, including learning where ingredients come from and how they are prepared. Ms. Biale hopes to instill a deeper appreciation for the way body and mind are inherently connected to what students eat. Similar to the philosophy of the Slow Food movement, Ms. Biale also hopes to get students to explore how sharing a meal is an opportunity to connect and enjoy, rather than a race to finish and leave the table. Additionally, Ms. Biale will find intersections between food and classroom curriculum. She plans to create a food program that expresses our school’s values on a daily basis, fostering an appreciation for those who grow, cook, and serve our food, as we enjoy our nourishing meals.
For more information about Acre Gourmet, please visit: http://www.acregourmet.com/