Overseen by leaders of top charter management organizations and charter schools, Better 4 You Meals (B4YM) provides meals to schools throughout San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. In February 2016, Better 4 You Meals partnered with Compton Unified School District (CUSD) to provide meals to schools in the district.
All CUSD sites receive breakfast meals from B4YM on Wednesdays and supper meals daily, with secondary schools also receiving daily lunches. Menus include a range of pre-packaged meals, such as sausage and cheese croissant sandwiches and orange chicken with brown rice, all of which come with portions of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The interim senior director of CUSD Student Nutrition, Antoinette Pearce, spoke about how B4YM was selected following an evaluation period in which students from CUSD schools tasted the meals offered by the vendor. The effects of the partnership were immediate; Whaley Middle School saw the number of students served increase to 460 from 390 during the first week it sold B4YM meals.
Better 4 You Meals is a food vendor that serves Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. Leaders from top charter schools and charter management organizations created Better 4 You Meals to meet the nourishment needs of children in Southern California.
According to the California Association of Food Banks, more than 12 percent of California residents lack access to nutritious food in spite of the fact that more than half of the produce in the United States is grown in California. Without consistent access to fruits and vegetables, students’ scholastic performance will be impacted. More than two million children are facing this issue of food insecurity in California.
A diet lacking fruits and vegetables can lead to obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. A 2016 report, The State of Obesity, asserted that, as of 2011, more than 15 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 in California were obese. Additionally, many students from low-income families experience undernourishment during summer vacation because they no longer receive the meals provided at school.
For more than four years, Better 4 You Meals (B4YM) has served Southern California charter schools with an extensive variety of food services. Better 4 You Meals serves more than 70,000 meals to students at over 220 schools every day, including breakfast, lunch, and after school supper services.
Any B4YM school that runs after school programs should consider the organization’s after school supper services. For schools already engaged in breakfast and lunch programs, the after school supper service represents an opportunity to ensure that students receive three nutritious meals every day. School supper meals include both hot and cold food, fruit, and various milk and juice options.
Some after school programs may qualify for reimbursements through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At risk After-school Snack/Supper Program, which was designed to promote nutritious eating for children and teenagers. Complete eligibility requirements for the CACFP reimbursement program can be found at www.fns.usda.gov.
Better 4 You Meals was established by charter school leaders in California in response to the lack of breakfast meal services being provided to low-income students in the state. The company serves 70,000 meals per day to over 220 schools in San Bernardino and Los Angeles. Better 4 You Meals uses a fleet of delivery vehicles that are fueled by clean natural gas (CNG), which has a number of benefits over traditional vehicle fuels.
1. Vehicle operators can save as much as 50 percent on their fuel bills by switching to CNG vehicles when compared to diesel and petroleum.
2. CNG vehicles are better for the environment, contributing 25 percent less carbon dioxide than comparable diesel-fueled vehicles, in addition to 50 percent fewer nitrogen oxides.
3. Supplies of CNG are abundant in comparison to oil, with 98 percent of the natural gas used in the United States produced in North America. This results in lower costs for consumers, in addition to contributing more directly to the country’s economy.