Current Projects

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Innovating the future of school dining to enhance the bodies and minds of our community.


The School Food Advisory (SFA) started in Fall 2016 thanks to the generous support of the Stupski Foundation to elevate the students voice within Student Nutrition Services. The SFA is comprised of high school students who are passionate and dedicated in working to ensure school meal programs are student-centered. To date, 32 students across six high schools-Mission, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John O’Connell, Lowell, and Thurgood Marshall- have participated in the SFA.

Early Success

In the first two years the SFA has transformed the dining experience by designing culturally diverse, vegan, and filling recipes that have been added to SNS’s lunch and supper menu. The SFA also advocated for environmentally friendly packaging, which resulted in the use of compostable packaging in all school lunch vending machines. Students who participate in the SFA, left the program with the understanding of the school meal programs, design-thinking process, advocacy and civic engagement skills.


The SFA will be involved in every Student Nutrition Services decision to ensure all students - of every race, ethnicity, gender, language, learning level and ability- enjoy the school dining experience to ensure they thrive inside and outside of the classroom.

The SFA will be comprised of a diverse group of students -two representatives from each SFUSD high school. They will receive a three-year fellowship pathway and extended growth opportunities that will consist of:

Leadership, Empathy, and Collaboration. Students will engage with Student Nutrition Services staff and partners, School Advisory Council, their peers, and the community to ideate and prototype their own dining experience projects at a district level.

Career and life skills. The SFA will expose students to a range of topics related to the school meal programs. Through SFA meetings and internships, students will have the opportunity to explore topics such as public policy, health education, computer science, data analysis, hands on culinary lessons, fundamentals of organizing, public speaking and advocacy.

Sense of Purpose and sense of self. Each student will play an integral role in developing recipes and school meal experiences that are authentic and reflective of themselves and their communities.  

Creativity. The human-centered design thinking process will be the foundation of the SFA. Students will learn, understand, and practice the five step design thinking process- empathy, define, ideate, prototype, and test- to solve social issues with an equity lens at the local level and the wider world.



Space Redesign Process

Since 2014, the Future Dining Experience has redesigned 23 dining spaces across the district. The redesign process is a 6-7 month experience that involves student design workshops, meetings with the school community and then the actual ordering (and shipment) of furniture and graphics. Throughout the entire design process, the student is kept at the center, to ensure we are creating spaces that reflect the needs and appeal to each individual school. If you would like to learn more about what the process looks like, check out our Activation Packet. This is the document that we provide to school sites to help explain the process and prep them for the experience ahead.

Originally funded by the generous support of the Someland Foundation, we are now in the process of expanding to more sites district wide, thanks to funding from the 2016 SF voted General Obligation Bond. For more information, and if you are interested in redesigning your SFUSD cafe, contact Kate Wobbekind at,


Redesigns Highlights

Marina Middle School

Students, PTA members, teachers, and dining staff all participated in the dining area space redesign workshops for the  Marina cafeteria. The school wanted to represent all the neighborhoods that make up SF and also showcase their mascot, the penguin. These ideas resulted in a penguin around SF theme. Can you identify all the landmarks? 


Lincoln High School

Over 100 students at Lincoln participated in a series of 3 design workshops in order to create a new vision for their dining area.


Bret Harte Elementary School

Over 80 students from grades one through five helped design the dining area at Bret Harte Elementary. Lego walls, animals, round tables and a special reading area are all part of the features that help make this space a community hub for the school. 


Aptos Middle School

The students at Aptos are proud of their mascot, the tiger. In addition, the students wanted to celebrate all the cultures that are represented via their diverse student body. For this space, we highlighted nature, language, and of course, the tiger. 


Balboa High School

Student leaders involved with Balboa's nutrition and wellness program helped to design the dining area. The students wanted a space that felt sophisticated and highlighted the values of the schools: Equity, Justice, Empathy. 


Martin Luther King Middle School

The Future Dining Experience worked closely with over 60 students from the Peer Resources and Student Government groups at King through design workshops focused on space redesign and menu feedback. From these workshops, the design team created interactive wall graphics that highlight the school’s rich history and connection to their inspiring namesake. MLK was completed in April 2016.


James Lick Middle School 

The Future Dining Experience team worked with student government leaders and teachers at James Lick to reimagine a meal experience that reflects both the recent renovations and beautiful historic architecture of the site. The students presented initial direction for the furniture plan and graphics through design workshops, and their feedback has continued to inform the iteration process. James Lick was completed in April 2016. 


Phillip and Sala Burton High School 

Feedback and excitement from student leaders has propelled a redesign to transform the dining area at Burton from an underutilized part of campus, to a student community hub for students to take a break to eat in.  Burton was completed in April 2016.


George Washington High School

Washington High students spent the second half of the 2014-2015 school year providing ideas concerning their dining area through a series of redesign workshops focused on reimagining their school meal experience. Over 50 students contributed ideas that have informed the creation of a site-specific furniture plan and graphics. During the summer of 2015, the site received new furniture that increases the number and flexibility of seating options. The second half of the redesign was completed in April 2016. During April, the dining area was outfitted with graphics and interactive wall surfaces that brought to fruition the vision imagined by the student ambassadors at Washington High School. 


Willie L. Brown, Jr. Middle School 

Willie L. Brown, Jr. Middle School has opened for the first day of school and is a new model for public education—the ideas, structure, curriculum and facilities support teaching and learning that is highly innovative and personalized and help prepare students to transform the 21st century. The school provides students with a rich STEM and Arts oriented program, which empowers and prepares them for success. The Future Dining Experience has designed the school's dining space with interactive graphics that connect the dining experience to the STEM and Arts curriculum.


Everett Middle School

Students and staff at Everett Middle School spent the 2014-2015 school year reimagining their school meal experience. Students created fun and informative presentations detailing their ideal dining experience and teachers met often to brainstorm ways to transform student's perceptions of dining at Everett. All of this information was utilized in the redesign of Everett Middle School's dining area. The Future Dining Experience team worked closely with students and staff to create a space that emphasizes the social justice themes of the school and provides a comfortable place to eat, talk, and feel a sense of community. 


Thurgood Marshall Academic High School

During the 2014-2015 school year, The Future Dining Experience began working with Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, located in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, to reimagine their dining area. The Future Dining Experience team partnered with The Future Project and the Marshall school community, including an active student leadership group (Cafeteria Revamp Squad), to carry out this dining area transformation. Over 100 students participated in design workshops and menu planning sessions. As of May 2015, Marshall’s dining area has been redesigned with new furniture, wall graphics, and distributed points of sale to convert the previously underutilized space into one that is engaging and fun for students. Thurgood Marshall was completed in May 2015. 


Roosevelt Middle School Redesign Pilot

Roosevelt Middle School’s dining area has been completely redesigned and renovated, and it is now open to the students! SFUSD is piloting new mobile carts, new furniture, and interactive wall graphics. From this pilot, the District will learn which furniture options and wall graphics students use and enjoy the most and the impact of various distributed points of sale on the meal line. The pilot will be evaluated with a focus on the student experience, staff experience and financial impact. Roosevelt Middle School was completed in October 2014. 

For more information, check out our Press page. 



Vending Machines and Mobile Carts

During the 2016-2017 school year, students at 12 Learning Cohort sites will have access to full-meal vending machines and mobile carts. The purpose of the alternative meal line is to alleviate pressure on the main meal line by spreading students out and providing quicker opportunities to access complete meals. Students who don't want to wait in line can grab a hot lunch at the mobile cart or a cold meal at the vending machine using their PIN.

The impact of the mobile carts, full-meal vending machines, and school staff engagement on student participation and health is being studied via a research team at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health thanks to funding from a USDA grant. 



Community Portal Activation

The site you are currently viewing is a key part of the Future Dining Experience Vision. It is a platform that enables the community to connect with the SFUSD School Food program. We know that many members of our community are excited to be part of helping to realize the vision of SFUSD's Future Dining Experience. We welcome your support, either through volunteering to help with our projects or through donating. We value your contribution and are excited about the community that is being created around school food within the Bay Area.