Programs & Grants
The Chef Ann Foundation currently provides the following programs as part of our commitment to helping schools make real and lasting change in their kitchens, cafeterias, and beyond.
The Lunch Box is an online resource that is dedicated to supporting school districts and food service teams in transitioning their food programs from relying on processed foods to incorporating scratch cooking and fresh ingredients in their menus. The Lunch Box also shares best practices from around the United States–building a network of school food changemakers. The Lunch Box includes a wide range of free, in-depth tools and resources such scalable and downloadable recipes, USDA compliant menu cycles, procurement tools, financial calculators, implementation strategies, training tools, marketing materials, and much more.
Get Schools Cooking
Get Schools Cooking, a program of Chef Ann Foundation, previously known as School Food Support Initiative, is for school districts who want to transition their food service operations from heat and serve processed foods to whole foods that are cooked from scratch. Through Get Schools Cooking, food service directors and their teams are guided through an intensive three-year program.
Salad Bars to Schools (SB2S) supports schools in expanding their commitment to serving fresh fruits and vegetables by donating salad bars to school districts across the United States. Salad bars profoundly shift the typical school lunch by offering students not only a variety of foods, but also the opportunity to choose what they eat. As a founding and managing partner, CAF guides school districts through the grant application process and provides salad bar resources for food service staff.
The School Food Institute gives school food service professionals and childhood nutrition advocates the in-depth training, operational skills, and strategic vision necessary to make school food fresh, healthy, and sustainable. Our engaging online courses give you a front row seat in Chef Ann Cooper’s classroom, where you can learn directly from a leader in school food change on how to transition school meal programs to scratch-cooked operations that provide real, healthy food to kids at school every day.
Whether you are a school food professional, a parent, a teacher, an administrator, or an advocate of healthy food for all, we have something for you at the School Food Institute. Enroll today and be part of the movement to get fresh, healthy food to every child, every day.
Parent Advocacy Initiative
The Parent Advocacy Initiative (PAI) is designed specifically to support parents who want to be catalysts for school food change in their communities. The PAI provides parents with tools and resources to lead grassroots advocacy efforts in their school districts. Working with administrators and school food staff, parents can kick start and support their district’s work to make school food a vital component of kids’ health and academic success.
Project Produce, a program of Chef Ann Foundation, provides schools funds to spend on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole ingredients used in scratch-cooked recipes. Food service staff, often with support from other school personnel, host tastings and food literacy events in the cafeteria in order to increase student exposure and acceptability of fresh fruits, vegetables, and new recipes. Favorite fruits, vegetables, and new recipes are incorporated into school meals and are promoted through peer-to-peer marketing strategies. These activities help to expand kids’ palates and encourage healthy eating habits in school and out.