© 2023 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

4J Schools Find Fruits Of In-House Food

Karen Richards

Eugene 4J schools started making food in-house this summer, ending a 21-year run of outsourcing. The transition is complex, but there are many fruits for the labor. 


Preparing meals for 34 schools means more than just chopping apples. There’s buying food, outfitting kitchens, training staff and more. 4J’s Nutrition Services Manager Jill Cuadros says they’ve developed a five-week menu cycle and hope to build on it: “In year two we want to continue to push the envelope, we want to trailblaze even more scratch cooking, even better recipes, sourcing more locally.” 

Cuadros says they’re already working with several local vendors, including Organically Grown and Surata Soyfoods: “It’s building capacity not only within our program and our nutrition, but it’s building capacity in the community.”


She says students like the colorful new salad bars, including fresh produce they might not have seen before. Recent offerings include a purple potato and kiwi berries. 

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.
Related Content