Our Story

Our story began when Chef Ann had a vision to create an organization that helps schools take action so that every child has daily access to fresh, healthy food. Today, the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) carries out that vision by actively supporting school districts nationwide through grant programs and by providing tried and tested tools for school food change. Our major programs include:

  • The Lunch Box: An online resource that provides free step-by-step guides, tools, and recipes to help schools improve their food programs.
  • Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S): A grant program that helps schools expand their commitment to serving fresh fruits and vegetables by implementing salad bars as part of their daily meal programs.
  • Project Produce: CAF has teamed up with Skoop, a superfoods company, for this grant program, which help schools increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and veggies and nutrition education.
  • School Food Support Initiative (SFSI): A grant program launched in partnership with Life Time Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation that provides in depth technical assistance, on-site assessments, and workshops to help school districts create and implement a custom plan for change.
  • Parent Advocacy Initiative (PAI): A program funded by the Whole Kids Foundation that provides parents with tools and resources to lead grassroots advocacy efforts in their school districts. 

“One in three children born today will have diabetes in their lifetime…This is the social justice issue of our time. Every child deserves fresh, healthy food.” –Chef Ann Cooper

Milestones

2008

2009

  • The Lunch Box test site launches.
  • Ann founds Food Family Farming Foundation (F3).
  • Whole Foods Market shoppers raise funds through the “Whole Foods Market School Food Revolution Campaign” to support the design and construction of an official website for The Lunch Box.

2010

2011

  • LMSB2S grants 516 salad bars to schools, which provides 540,000 kids with daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • F3 launches Healthy Breakfast for Kids (HB4K).
  • The Lunch Box adds over 20 new tutorial videos throughout the website for food service directors and staff.

2012

  • LMSB2S grants 548 salad bars to schools, for an all-time total of 1,628 bars, reaching a grand total of 814,000 kids.
  • HBFK helps 47,717 students gain access to breakfast by providing 117 schools across the nation with equipment grants to implement universal, after-the-bell breakfast programs.
  • The Lunch Box is featured by Rachael Ray’s Yumo! Foundation and Forbes Magazine online.
  • IACP Humanitarian of the Year Award presented to Chef Ann for her work in school food reform.

2013

  • LMSB2S grants an additional 1,209 salad bars to schools, reaching 604,500 kids.
  • CAF receives over $500,000 from The Colorado Health Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation to expand and update The Lunch Box website.
  • CAF receives Whole Kids Foundation recipe grant to fund the development of 50 kid-tested recipes for The Lunch Box; recipes will be compliant with the most current USDA nutrition standards.
  • CAF creates a three-year strategic plan to determine the pathways to school food improvements nationwide.

2014

2015

  • CAF teams up with Life Time Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation to launch School Food Support Initiative, a deep dive program into school food reform that provides workshops, assessments, strategic planning and equipment grants to participating school districts.

2015 Annual Report

We're very proud of our first ever Annual Report, and all the program successes we share inside! See what we were up to in 2015 here.

From the Blog

2016 is Going to Be BIG!

What's on our plate

Our team has powered into 2016 with a BIG goal in mind: reach 393,750 more kids this year with our healthy school food programing. We have a really tall order to fill, but the organization is so energized about the...

Talking About School Food with Chef Ann

Chef Ann Cooper and other notable school food reform advocates discuss the importance of healthy school food for kids.