When you’ve spent 40 years in child nutrition programs, you know a thing or two about creating a successful program. For Miguel Villarreal, that’s creating a nutrition-led program, built around community support with a big dash of recognition. Villarreal is the director of child nutrition and warehouse at San Ramon Valley Unified School District in California.
After spending 17 years in Novato Unified School District, Villarreal made the jump to San Ramon a year ago. He arrived with grand plans—and then the coronavirus hit. While he and his team have shifted quickly to maintain service to the community, Villarreal had to put a few big plans on hold. But he’s been incredibly pleased and honored to see child nutrition programs receiving some of the credit they deserve—including the cover of Time magazine (Villarreal himself was quoted in an issue).
Now, as the pandemic slows at least a bit, Villarreal talks about his plans for the fall and how the current protests surrounding racial equality also align with food equality, an issue he says child nutrition programs play a large role in. Here’s his story.
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