Story by Brian C. Johnson

The Larchmont Schools provide a lunch program that compliments their curriculum enabling kids to learn about all aspects of life including the importance of food. Making school food a priority is a really great way to ensure kids are learning in a healthy environment. Executive director Brian C. Johnson shares how their lunch program is central to the Larchmont Charter philosophy.

The Larchmont Schools – comprising of Larchmont Charter School and Larchmont Charter West Hollywood – is the only public charter school network in Los Angeles which aims to serve a racially, culturally, and socio-economically diverse community of students. Combined, our schools serve almost 700 students in Kindergarten through 7th grade. Our schools are among the academically highest performing schools in Los Angeles.

Our lunch program at Larchmont Charter West Hollywood is particularly unique. We partner with a farm-to-table vendor to provide our lunches and all children participate, eating the same food together every day. At our school, we bring together children from many neighborhoods representing the full racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity of Los Angeles. By bringing all children together at lunch to eat the same food, we help create a shared sense of community. Furthermore, our education philosophy is based on constructivism. We aim to teach the whole child by providing our children the opportunity to learn from their own experiences. The opportunity to try different healthy locally-grown foods at lunch is an ideal way for us to mirror our classroom environment at lunch.

The Lunch Committee is dedicated in finding the healthiest and most delicious lunch possible that allows us to meet guidelines and cost for the Federal Free and Reduced priced lunch program. This dedicated team comes to campus every day to assist in serving lunch to our hungry students.

Our lunch program is central to the educational experience at Larchmont Charter West Hollywood. Within an integrated curriculum of science, social studies, math, language, and gardening, lunch time becomes part of our school curriculum, helping children bring rich meaning to what they learn.

About the author: Brian C. Johnson is the Executive Director of the Larchmont Schools in Los Angeles