The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) was founded in 2009 by Ann Cooper, an internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children. Chef Ann’s vision was to create an organization that helps schools take action so that every child has daily access to fresh, healthy food. Today, CAF carries out that vision by actively supporting school districts nationwide with the tools, training, resources and funding needed to help schools create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments.
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Featured Release: Chef Ann Foundation Partners with Restaurant Chefs to Host Its First-Ever National Real School Food Challenge
Participating chefs will create USDA compliant recipes for $1.25 and add them to their restaurant menus in October to benefit healthy school food
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BOULDER, Colo. – June 21, 2019 – Chef Ann Foundation (CAF), a trail-blazing nonprofit dedicated to redefining school lunchrooms, today announced it is inviting chefs across the U.S. to help bring awareness to the need for school food reform through the Real School Food Challenge Restaurant Edition held this October. First launched in 2016, the Real School Food Challenge enlists the support of healthy food advocates to show that it’s possible to create great-tasting, nutrient-rich food that can easily be made in school kitchens by school staff. In 2019, specifically, CAF is challenging restaurant chefs to create meals that follow USDA healthy meal guidelines and cost around $1.25, the average budget for a school lunch in the U.S. As part of this first-ever national Challenge, all of the participating chefs will serve their recipes on their menu, with a portion of sales getting donated back to CAF. Corporate sponsors will also match the proceeds from each restaurant to help maximize the impact of the Challenge.
Every day, 30 million children eat school lunch, and 70 percent of those students qualify for free or reduced (F/R) priced meals. With only $1.25 to spend per student meal, it becomes challenging for schools to serve real, healthy food that meet USDA guidelines. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, CAF works daily to provide school communities with the tools, training, resources, and funding that enables them to create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments. To date, the organization has reached more than 10,0000 schools and 3 million kids with their healthy school programming.
“We believe every child deserves access to healthy delicious food every day in school so they can develop healthy eating habits to last a lifetime,” said Chef Ann Founder, founder of CAF. “We host these culinary challenges to help educate and inform the public about the importance of serving our children scratch-made meals in schools, and could not be more excited to see how our partner chefs use their culinary creativity to create meals for some of their most important guests ever - kids.”
So far, CAF has secured participation from chefs who share a vision for better food for children, including:
- Chef Charleen Badman, chef and partner of Scottsdale-based FnB
“I’m so excited to help figure out how to give all kids in the U.S. the nutritious lunches they deserve,” shareds Chef Alon Shaya. “In addition to calling awareness to how we can improve school lunches, it’s also an exhilarating challenge for chefs to create delicious and nutritious meals on a low budget.”.
The Real School Food Challenge Restaurant Edition will kick-off on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, when each chef’s recipe will be added to their menu as part of a fundraiser to support CAF’s ongoing efforts to make real change to the food our children eat at school. The winning recipe will be selected by the Chef Ann Foundation based on creativity, presentation and scalability, and will be featured on the Foundation’s national school food recipe database for kids around the country to enjoy.
The first Real School Food Challenge was hosted in Boulder in April 2016, and helped raise $7,500 for the CAF. Since that initial Challenge, CAF has partnered with communities and organizations across the U.S. to host six additional Challenges, raising nearly $70,000 total. CAF is continuing to enroll additional chef participants through the end of July 2019. To get involved in this year’s challenge, please contact Danielle Staunton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Chef Ann Foundation
Chef Ann Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2009 by Ann Cooper, an internationally recognized chef, author, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children, with the mission, “to provide school communities with the tools, training, resources, and funding that enables them to create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments.” To date, the organization has reached more than 10,0000 schools and 3 million kids with their healthy school programing.
CAF in the News
Press Releases and Articles
- 7/31/19 - Chef Ann Foundation - Making Fresh Healthy Food Accessible to Children Everywhere, School Nutrition Dietitian (Podcast episode)
- 6/11/19 - Boulder's Chef Ann Named a 'Food Hero', BizWest
- 6/7/19 - 2019 EatingWell American Food Heroes Include Chef Ann Cooper, EatingWell
- 4/3/19 - Are school lunch times in Colorado too short, too long or just right?, KMGH-TV The Denver Channel
- 3/28/19 - Tossing and turning: What will be the future of food waste?, Boulder Weekly
- 3/20/19 - 'Iron Chef' Competition Held At Boulder Middle School, CBS Denver
- 3/7/19 - A Comprehensive List of the Women Leading the Front Range Culinary Scene, 5280 Magazin
- 1/1/19 - 119 Organizations Shaking Up the Food System in 2019, Food Tank
Click here for a complete list of press releases and articles.
Access all of our press releases and a variety of CAF fact sheets by clicking on each item below
The Renegade Lunch Lady
About Chef Ann Cooper and the CAF Mission
Learn how celebrity chef turned lunch lady Ann Cooper is changing school lunch in this episode of Sub-Zero's Fresh Food Matters