For the past two years, El Verano Elementary School has been one of only a handful of schools in California in a state-run pilot lunch program called REFRESH. The project’s goal is to increase access to and consumption of healthy foods and water; and to increase physical movement throughout the school day. El Verano’s food service staff, who prepare all food served at the school, has been provided with training, technical assistance, promotional projects and policy suggestions. ( The popular lunch program emphasizes local, healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains. On a recent Wednesday during lunch, second-graders Abisai Perez, Jesús de la Cruz and Christopher Martinez enjoyed a lunch of beef soft tacos on whole grain tortillas, black beans and five different fresh fruit choices, with water or organic milk. (Photo by Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune).