Oakland, CA December 6, 2023 – Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and Kaiser Permanente are expanding a partnership committed to creating safe places for Oakland children to play and increasing access to nutritious foods at Oakland schools—fueling healthy habits that will last into adulthood.
A $2.5 million grant from a Kaiser Permanente fund at the East Bay Community Foundation will support Eat. Learn Play.’s effort to revitalize 25 schoolyards over the next three years, providing safe, engaging places for students to play. The three-year grant will also support Oakland Unified School District’s Central Kitchen to become fully operational—with a goal to provide 5 million healthy meals to the district’s nearly 35,000 students. The Central Kitchen is the hub of the district-wide school food program network that connects nutrition, education, and community programs at OUSD’s schools.
This partnership will provide critical support for Oakland students, where 37% of children live in food-insecure homes, nearly 80% qualified for free and reduced-price lunches in 2022-23, 86% of youth are not getting 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and 80% of Black and Latino/a elementary students read below the 3rd-grade level.
“Kaiser Permanente is pleased to support Eat. Learn. Play. to ensure all Oakland Unified School District students have access to healthy meals in their school cafeterias and enriching playgrounds and outdoor learning spaces,” said Yvette Radford, vice president, External and Community Affairs, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “We are a long-time partner of Eat. Learn. Play. because we know that enhancing the health and well-being of children is essential to improving the health of our communities.”
The expansion of the partnership between the two organizations supports and aligns with the recent launch of Eat. Learn. Play.’s movement to bring an additional $50 million in resources and support to Oakland students by the end of the 2026 school year.
“Eat. Learn. Play.’s ongoing partnership with Kaiser Permanente has been a critical part of our journey towards ensuring Oakland students have access to nutritious meals and vibrant outdoor spaces to play,” said Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Co-Founders of Eat. Learn. Play. “Our collaboration stems from a shared commitment to nurturing children’s growth and enabling them to reach their potential with the resources and support necessary to thrive. Together, we are working to transform the school experience for the next generation of students in Oakland. We’re so grateful for this partnership.”
The Kaiser Permanente grant will help to transform the school food system, which Oakland students rely on and where many often eat two or three meals a day. It will help ensure students have access to the healthy, high-quality food they need to thrive. The grant will support OUSD’s Central Kitchen, Education Center, and Instructional Garden & Farm (The Center) in becoming fully operational with the goal of providing more than 5 million healthy, scratched-cooked school meals every year to the district’s nearly 35,000 students and 85 schools.
In addition, the investment in revitalizing schoolyards will provide safe places for children to play, which is critical to childhood development. Having access to play spaces provides mental, social-emotional, and academic benefits that serve children throughout their lives, according to the State of Play report that Eat. Learn. Play. conducted with the Aspen Institute in 2022. Over the next three years, Eat. Learn. Play. will transform a total of 25 OUSD elementary school playgrounds that will also serve surrounding neighborhoods to promote healthy activity for children. The schoolyards will include state-of-the-art multi-sport courts, mini soccer pitches, play structures designed by the youth that will use them, community gardens, outdoor classrooms and reading areas.
“Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and Kaiser Permanente are both such critical partners for OUSD, that an expansion of the partnership between them will only serve to bolster our efforts on behalf of our students,” said OUSD Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “We are deeply committed to providing high-quality dining experiences, joyful spaces for our students to eat, learn, and play in our revamped school yards, expanded sports programs and culturally robust school libraries. We are well on our way to doing all that, and this enhanced partnership is going to turbocharge our efforts. I thank Kaiser Permanente and Eat. Learn. Play. for their collaboration and our partnership.”
Kaiser Permanente was a founding partner of Eat. Learn. Play in 2019, and for more than four years has worked with Eat. Learn. Play. to support the well-being of Oakland children by providing access to nutritious meals, quality reading resources and opportunities to play and be active. Through this partnership, Kaiser Permanente funded 150,000 meals prepared by local restaurants to keep Oakland students and their families fed during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped fund the creation and operations of the Eat. Learn. Play. Bus. The bus, which debuted in 2021, is a mobile resource center that joyfully delivers fresh meals, produce and culturally affirming books to children in neighborhoods throughout Oakland.
About Eat. Learn. Play.
Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation is an organization dedicated to unleashing the potential of every child, paving the way for amazing kids and opening doors to bright futures. Founded by Stephen and Ayesha Curry in 2019, Eat. Learn. Play. launched with a focus on improving the lives of kids and families in Oakland, the Bay Area and across the country. Rooted in three of the most vital pillars for a healthy childhood—nutrition, education, and physical activity—Eat. Learn. Play. is working to ensure that every child in Oakland has access to the nutritious food they need to be healthy and thrive; resources to learn and love to read; and safe places and equitable opportunities to play.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia.
Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, go to about.kp.org.
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