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Full Futures School Nutrition Partnership: Year one impact and what’s next


It’s been a year since the launch of Full Futures—a 5-year, $5 million commitment to improve the school nutrition environment and ensure all students are well nourished and ready to thrive at school and in life.

Full Futures was initiated in our hometown of Camden, New Jersey in partnership with the Camden City School District and nearly a dozen organizations.



students throughout the Camden City School District. 



pilot schools with intensive support, in addition to district-wide initiatives.



school activities, events, and community and family activities.

Using locally sourced food

A key goal of Full Futures is to get more nutritious, locally sourced ingredients into school cafeterias.

The Common Market Mid-Atlantic and its farm partners provided weekly deliveries of locally sourced fruits and vegetables to the Camden City School District. The district was also the first buyer of Black-owned farm produce in The Common Market Mid-Atlantic’s history.



unique food items, including vegetables and fruits. 



farmers and producers in NJ, PA, DE, and MD.



pounds of local food to the school district.

“Our work would not be possible without collaboration with on-the-ground partners.”

– The Common Market

Meet Farmer Desmond Hayes

The Common Market helped purchase salad greens for the Camden City School District from Desmond’s farm, GeoGreens, in Hamilton, New Jersey.

Taste-testing new recipes and engaging youth voices

Students participated in taste tests—rating items as loved it, liked it, tried it. Input from students and from Full Futures partners helped inform the development of 29 new recipes for the school district, like fresh pico de gallo, chocolate beet brownies, and zucchini muffins. Full Futures partner, Wellness in The Schools, trained school staff on how to prepare these new recipes.

Fresh pico de gallo
Zucchini muffins

One menu item students tried for the first time? Asparagus fries! Chef Anwar from Wellness in the Schools used asparagus from Spina Farms in Salem, New Jersey to make the fries. In fact, this was the first time asparagus was ever served in the Camden City School District—and the fries were a hit!

Chef Anwar from Wellness in the Schools prepares asparagus fries with local New Jersey asparagus.

Students from the Camden Youth Advisory Council (CYAC), a youth leadership group of students across Camden City schools, also provided input into what’s most important to them when it comes to what they eat at school. Coordinated by the Food Bank of South Jersey, the councils developed and administered student surveys, learned about advocacy for food access, participated in cafeteria tastings, and learned about the procurement process. 

“Being on the Council means I have a chance to advocate for better lunches for students who can’t.”

– Camden Youth Advisory Council member

Providing fresh and nutritious meals

Another accomplishment from year one was the request for proposal (RFP) for a new food service provider. The Camden City School District, with support from National Farm to School Network and their consulting partners, crafted a new food service RFP based on the district’s goals and values and a community survey, which prioritized providing fresh, nutritious meals that students and families were seeking.

Whitson’s Culinary Group is the new food service management vendor and we’re excited to welcome them to the Full Futures partnership!

What’s next?

Building on the momentum of year one, this year we’re working to:

Learn more about Full Futures

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