Photos and story by Siham Ismail—Food and Social Justice Club and Mid-City CAN Youth Media Team
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Students from the Food and Social Justice Club at Crawford High School take this phrase to heart when setting goals for the club.
This tight-knit group of students with a mission to bring healthy food to their school has accomplished some amazing things. One of their biggest achievements has been the introduction of halal food in their school menu. The term halal refers to the humane way of slaughtering an animal or something that is permissible for Muslims to eat.
Halal foods are also very nutritious.
“Most of our school lunch is made up of dishes including meat, when you realize they aren’t halal and you can’t eat them, you don’t really have other options of food to eat,” said Zarah Abdillahi, a student at Crawford High School.
This was a problem many students at Crawford faced, which led to the campaign and fight for halal food on the menu. Teachers, parents, mentors, and students came together to support the youth-led initiative to meet the goal of bringing nutritious food that all students could eat. The new dish on the Crawford menu, halal chili-lemon chicken, was not only a favorite but met the dietary needs of many students. Served once every week, the chicken complements the other halal options in the menu.
Recently, club members and members of Mid-City CAN’s Food Justice Momentum Team celebrated the achievement of five days of halal food at Crawford and the addition of new halal options to the menu. Guest speaker Gary Petill, Food Service Director at San Diego Unified School District, hosted a questionnaire and a halal food taste test to get the opinions of the community on what could be changed or what other concerns they had.
During the celebration, Gary Petill and Danielle K. Vincent Griffith, advisor to the Food and Social Justice Club, received a special recognition by Mid-City CAN for their crucial contributions in making halal food possible at Crawford.
The big mission of the Food and Social Justice Club and momentum team is to bring healthier options to the school menu that meet the dietary needs of all the students. The accomplishment of the halal chili-lemon chicken and five days of halal food options is just one step on the ladder of success for this Club, and there will be more ahead of them.