1504830735 <![CDATA[Blog]]> http://athens.sierrabravo.net/~nguillou/f3/caf/ en Chef Ann Foundation Copyright 2017 2017-09-07T13:50:00+00:00 <![CDATA[Announcing School Food Institute]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/announcing-school-food-institute/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/announcing-school-food-institute/#When:13:50:00Z  A Fresh Approach to Education








We serve over 30 million kids each day at school in cafeterias across the country. And while school food has made great strides in becoming healthier since the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, there is still a heavy reliance on processed foods in school lunches. The food we eat matters, especially for children who need the fuel from good food to grow and learn. One in three school aged children suffers from overweight and obesity, which puts kids at higher risk of a host of other health issues – from issues like high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma to depression and low self-esteem. And today, diabetes is one of the most chronic illnesses facing kids under 20. These are staggering statistics. And these diseases are diet-related. We know that something must change. 

School food can be a major player in the battle against diet-related disease among kids. Over the course of a year, we serve more than 5 billion school lunches through the National School Lunch Program. If every one of those lunches was made from whole, fresh, healthy ingredients, imagine the impact on our kids’ diets, and ultimately, their health and wellbeing. But the reality is that changing school food is changing a system. School food has relied on processed foods for decades, largely due to financial and operational constraints that leave school kitchens without the ability to cook real food in schools. Challenges with kitchen equipment have been pervasive since the early 1980’s, when federal funding for kitchen equipment and facilities was first cut from school meal programs. And while federal equipment funding resurfaced in 2009, still today, less than half of school meal programs have adequate budgets for equipment, which pushes schools toward processed foods that don’t require specialized kitchen equipment or skilled labor to prepare. We can’t expect schools to make this change overnight.

That’s why the Chef Ann Foundation is launching School Food Institute (SFI). This video-based online educational series leverages Chef Ann Cooper’s extensive expertise in leading school food programs through a transition to serving whole, fresh, healthy foods to kids every day. Course topics cover everything necessary to make sustainable change to school food operations – recipes and menus, procurement, marketing and lunchroom education, finance, human resources, and even a course on strategic planning for making positive change. But what really makes the School Food Institute unique is the direct access to Chef Ann Cooper who, as the Director of Food Services for Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, knows firsthand what it means to transform school food programs.

Each course is taught through a lens of transitioning your school food operation to a scratch-cook model -- where processed chicken nuggets and tater tots are replaced by roasted chicken and potatoes cooked from fresh, whole ingredients. Throughout the course series, Chef Ann teaches how to work within regulatory and financial constraints to make scratch-cooking in schools a reality. Want to move away from serving frozen pizza and start making it from scratch? Chef Ann will lead you through a realistic transition plan to procure your ingredients and train your staff to make that pizza by hand. Want to know how to start shifting to antibiotic and hormone free beef without breaking the food budget? Chef Ann will tell you how you can prioritize ingredients and serve high quality food without affecting the bottom line.

In Chef Ann’s virtual classroom, school food service professionals learn the ins and outs of how to make real, sustainable change in school food programs. But School Food Institute is not just for school food service professionals. The coursework equips parents, administrators, and school nutrition advocates with practical knowledge about school food history, regulations, policy, and funding that will enable them to be informed advocates for healthier food in schools across the nation.

School Food Institute is much more than merely a series of videos. Chef Ann’s lectures come to life for participants with real-world assignments and learning activities that help them stretch their imaginations about school food operations and get feedback from their instructor and her teaching assistant. And discussion questions allow participants to learn from each other by sharing successes and challenges in school food change. 

Participants can enroll in all eight courses in the series, or just in courses on the operational areas where they need professional development. The School Food Institute recognizes those who are truly invested through its certificate program. School Food Institute certificates are available at three levels – gold (complete the full series), silver (complete School Food 101 and four more courses of your choice), and bronze (complete School Food 101 and two more courses of your choice).

This is the only national certificate which recognizes the transition to scratch-cook operations in schools. A School Food Institute certificate gives professionals a competitive edge in the school food service industry and equips them with the knowledge, skills, and strategic vision to operate top-notch school meal programs and to make real change to support the health of our children.

Join the movement to make fresh, healthy food available to every child. Enroll in a School Food Institute course or certificate program today, and learn how you can start making changes to support healthier food in schools. Every child deserves real food that gives them fuel to thrive in school – and we as food service professionals and child nutrition advocates have a responsibility to make it happen. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Obesity

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Diabetes

American Heart Association

School Nutrition Association

The Pew Charitable Trusts

http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/announcing-school-food-institute/#disqus_thread 2017-09-07T13:50:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Programs Internship Opportunity Available]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/research-and-content-development-intern-opportunity-available/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/research-and-content-development-intern-opportunity-available/#When:16:29:00Z We are looking for a Research and Content Development Intern to support our programs, with a focus on the development of our new School Food Institute. 

We anticipate there will be 15-20 hours of work per week. Below is a list of responsibilities and qualifications:

Major Responsibilities:

  • Work with our Programs Director to support the development of CAF’s School Food Institute.  
  • Conduct research and analysis of the current online learning market and online programs in food and culinary studies.
  • Support with research on school food policy, issues, and resources for the School Food Institute curriculum.
  • Support with instructional design and content development for video lectures and resources in the School Food Institute online learning platform.
  • Assist with logistics for course lecture videography shoots for the School Food Institute coursework.
  • Work with our Marketing & Communications Manager to promote the School Food Institute launch and other programs.
  • Work with our Marketing & Education Manager to produce content for our blog, The Lunch Line.
  • Work with the Programs Team to support the management of CAF’s programming.
  • Research recent studies related to school food, farm to school, and childhood wellness for inclusion on The Lunch Box.
  • Assist with the creation of content for CAF’s new Plant Forward Menu Initiative.
  • Research and collect data on the impact of eating less meat on the environment for the Plant Forward Menu Initiative.
  • Support evaluation collection and review for Project Produce and Salad Bar grantees. 
  • Explore potential funding opportunities that align with our mission and goals.
  • Assist with grant and funder reports as needed.

Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • A passion for health and strong interest in childhood wellness.
  • Bachelor’s degree or undergraduates in their Junior or Senior year preferred.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and complete projects related to various programs.
  • Skilled in research and communication of research findings.
  • High level of computer proficiency including but not limited to; Microsoft Office Suite, video conferencing, and webinars.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.


This is a paid hourly position, $10/hour.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume, both of which should demonstrate your experience, qualifications, educational background, and your desire to fill this position, to Meghan Brenner, Programs Director, at info@chefannfoundation.org with the subject title “CAF Research and Content Development Intern” by July 10, 2017. Position is based in Boulder, CO and is available immediately. This is a summer internship with the possibility of extending through fall 2017.

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/research-and-content-development-intern-opportunity-available/#disqus_thread 2017-06-28T16:29:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Changing School Food Changed My Life]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/changing-school-food-changed-my-life/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/changing-school-food-changed-my-life/#When:19:12:00Z Danielle Staunton competed in our inaugural Real School Food Challenge last year which inspired her to come work for the Foundation. 

 Donate to the Chef Ann Foundation

I have always been a healthy eater — lots of leafy greens, limited meats with high amounts of saturated fat, sugar in moderation (except for my annual chocolate, caramel, and sea salt Whole Foods birthday cake which I eat straight from the box). When my son was born, I made all his food from fresh vegetables. When he got a little bigger, I baked super food muffins with quinoa, kale, and puréed white beans as a butter substitute.

So when I decided to compete in the Real School Food Challenge about a year ago, I thought I had it in the bag. I was working for a catering company and I spent so many hours in the kitchen making healthy meals, how hard could it really be?

What is the Real School Food Challenge?

In 2016, the Chef Ann Foundation created the Real School Food Challenge to educate people and communities about what it takes to create a healthy meal that meets stringent regulations for a measly $1.25.

The experience was intense. Lots of rules, little money, and somehow it must still be a crowd pleaser. I changed my concept at least 3 times (for those who know me well, you know that is one of my quicker decisions). The final recipe was then revised to meet the USDA requirements and substitutions were made to stay within budget.

Everyone loved my “breakfast for lunch” egg muffins in potato nests, with cream cheese and fresh strawberry-stuffed whole wheat French toast sticks…but clearly not enough. For a while I was quite bitter about losing. And then a year later, I find myself a winner.

I joined the Chef Ann Foundation team in December of 2016. Prior to the night of the inaugural Real School Food Challenge, I hadn’t given much thought to what my kids were eating at school. Mostly, I just thought it was awesome that I didn’t have to make lunch every morning. It made my life easier. But after my experience, I came to realize just how lucky I am to have Chef Ann Cooper working in Boulder, Colorado. She and her team make sure the students are eating fresh, real food every day and they actually cook that good food from scratch. And we're all lucky to have the Chef Ann Foundation to share Ann’s knowledge, resources and experience with the rest of the country.

When I joined the CAF team, I was blown away to learn that over 30 million children in this country eat school lunch every day, and even more astounding is the fact that 70% of them qualify for the free and reduced meal program. Unfortunately, the majority of schools across the country are still feeding children food “products” that come out of a package. Which begs the question:

How are children supposed to focus and learn in the classroom when their only source of fuel comes from chemicals and sugar?

As I have seen with my own children when they eat too much sugar, binge on pre-packaged snacks, or don’t get enough vitamins from fruits and vegetables, their behavior changes. For the worse.

Creating a school food recipe for the Real School Food Challenge was incredibly difficult, but it certainly wasn’t impossible. Our kids in Boulder are blessed to have Ann Cooper’s team making their school meals from scratch each day. There is incredible intention in the recipes they create to be sure our kids are not just eating healthy food now, but setting them up for a lifetime of well-developed palates and good eating habits. And if your child doesn’t happen to like what’s on the menu today, you are able to pack them a lunch of healthy, organic, allergen-free, hormone-free, gluten-free foods. Most kids in this country do not have that luxury. And that is why I have decided to pay it forward with my time, energy, and work. My mission is no longer just about my own family’s health, but that of the other 30 million children who are the future.

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/changing-school-food-changed-my-life/#disqus_thread 2017-05-17T19:12:00+00:00
<![CDATA[School Lunch, A Gift to All Moms]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/school-lunch-a-gift-to-all-moms/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/school-lunch-a-gift-to-all-moms/#When:21:05:00Z Packing a lunch for my kids has never been much of an issue. I used to take a lot of pride in packing a healthy, organic lunch that had a broad spectrum of textures and flavors. When I zipped that lunch box up and put it in my kids’ backpacks there was a feeling of satisfaction knowing that my kids were going to have a great day because I packed them a great lunch.

At the time, I never considered the repercussions of my kids opting out of school lunch. When I got up early to carefully craft a nutritious meal for my kids, I just thought I was doing the best I could for my kids.

This all changed when I was watching a movie called, What’s on Your Plate one day. In it, they interviewed a Mom that was living on the poverty line. When they asked her about her kids’ health and what they were eating, she started to cry. I could see the shame she felt for being a mom who was not able to provide her kids with a healthy meal.

  • First, I don’t believe any parent should feel ashamed about the food they are able (or are not able) to provide to their child.
  • Second, I don’t think it’s fair that children who come from a wealthier household get to fill up on the proper nutrients that allow them to excel in school while children from low-income families do not. For those students, their only option is to eat a meal provided by the school, and when most school lunch in the US is still a plate of highly processed food with no fresh ingredients, those kids are not given the same opportunity to perform their best.

If I were a struggling parent trying to make a better life for my family, it would be a huge weight off my shoulders if I could count on my child getting a healthy lunch at school that would help them focus in class and reach their full potential.

Once I started learning about the nuances of school food, it changed how I felt about packing my kids lunch. I learned what regulations guide school food, how it gets funded, and all of the barriers schools face when they try to cook using healthier, fresher food.

I learned about the financial position that school food service teams are in. There is not much wiggle room for extra funding to cook better meals. For children coming from low-income households, the federal reimbursement rate for lunch is around $3.33. For students that do not qualify, the school typically receives only $0.30 per meal.

What this means is that schools have just over $3 in most cases to feed a child a meal, but that has to include the costs of labor and administrative costs. In most cases, that leaves less than $1.20 for the actual food.

It’s hard to get good, quality ingredients for a meal with $1.20 to spend on the food. It’s even harder if you don’t have enough kids eating school meals. For schools that have higher percentages of kids that are on the free and reduced meal program it’s actually easier. Their participation numbers are higher and their food service program can rely on a certain number of meals they will sell, allowing them broader maneuverability with purchasing and labor. With districts that have lower percentages of kids on the free and reduced lunch program (like mine at 22%), it’s harder because you have less volume in purchasing and less funds for developing the program.

Now that I work in school food, I try to get my kids to eat school lunch as often as possible. Yes, I do live in Boulder, CO and yes, we have one of the best school food programs in the country, but I still face some of the same issues most parents experience when trying to get their kids to eat school food.

  • They don’t always like what is on the menu.
  • They say they don’t have enough time to eat after they go through the lunch line.
  • And the most popular reason: my friends don’t eat school lunch.

I can’t say I’m successful all the time but I am getting my kindergartener to eat school lunch about 3-4 days a week and my daughter in high school will eat school lunch about 1-2 times a week. My middle school-aged daughter is a tougher case. She is very picky and particular. 

I may not have the perfect solution, but what I know is that as a busy, working mom, school lunch makes my life much easier. I also know that the more my kids eat school lunch, the better opportunity there is for our lunch program to thrive in Boulder Valley. I know that I want every mom that I see at my kid’s school to feel good about what their kids are eating for lunch, and I want their kids to have the proper nutrition to succeed.

So, for Mother’s Day this year, ask your kids to eat a school lunch. Not only does it save you time you would have otherwise spent packing their lunch, it also gives the school a chance to provide better quality food, and perhaps most importantly, it reduces the stigma surrounding school lunch and levels the playing field for all kids.

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/school-lunch-a-gift-to-all-moms/#disqus_thread 2017-05-11T21:05:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Picketing for Produce]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/picketing-for-produce/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/picketing-for-produce/#When:15:28:00Z Elementary Students Protest for Salad Bar Access.

This blog has been re-published with the permission of Salad Bars to Schools. View the original blog post here.

Green and orange signs filled the air in the Bates Academy cafeteria. The students of this K-8 school made their voices heard, but not in the typical way you’d imagine for young children. No, the third- through fifth-graders here engaged in a silent protest, putting their thoughts on paper instead of shouting them in the air

Bates Academy: Detroit, MI
Grades: K-8
School Enrollment: 723
F/R: 100%
ADP: 79%

The topic causing the stir: salad.

“Give us our salad,” read one sign. “Salad for all,” was written on another. “Elementary wants real salad,” declared a third sign, this one with seven exclamation points, driving the message home.

Earlier this year, the Bates Academy was awarded a salad bar as part of the Salad Bars to Schools grant program. Initially, the bar was only available to older students in grades six through eight, but this limited availability did not sit well with their younger peers.

Conveniently, some of these younger students had just finished a social studies unit on peaceful resistance, and they immediately knew how they could bring about change.

With help from their teachers, the students in grades three through five constructed signs, highlighting their frustrations with their limited access to the salad bar.  They then proceeded to picket in and around the cafeteria, silently, though completely unified.

The students also wrote letters to their principal and to the cafeteria manager, explaining their desire to eat fresh produce from the bar.  According to an article on The Packer, one student wrote “salads keep people healthy and strong,” while another questioned “don’t you want us to grow healthy and strong?”

Ultimately, their efforts were a success, and on April 7th, the younger students were given access to the highly-prized salad bar.

Since then, the students are full of smiles as they come through the lunch line, assembling their colorful and nutritious plates. The protest signs quickly vanished, and the kids learned a valuable lesson: that peaceful resistance can lead to great change.

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/picketing-for-produce/#disqus_thread 2017-05-10T15:28:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Junk Food Jolene Changed Her Ways]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/junk-food-jolene-changed-her-ways/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/junk-food-jolene-changed-her-ways/#When:15:28:00Z In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re taking this opportunity to catch up with Alexa Palmer, an early childhood educator for over 15 years. Though most people would consider teaching demanding enough, Alexa has also found the time to author a children’s book about healthy eating.

Jolene Adventures of a Junk Food Queen is the story of Jolene, a girl who loves eating candy, chips, and fried food all the time until she goes on an adventure and learns about the harm her diet is doing to her health and her teeth.

Reading this book with your kids is a fun way to start a discussion about healthy eating.  Such conversations are essential nowadays, in a time when so many kids want to only eat junk food.

Alexa says one tactic that worked for her with her own daughters was repetition.

“Establishing healthy eating habits with children is an ongoing process, and we just have to be encouraging to children to offer healthy foods as much as possible. Offer a variety, not just for one day, but every day to integrate it into their diets.” She adds that, “it becomes a chain reaction—the more that they’re offered, the more they eat it.”

Alexa chose to connect Jolene’s fantasy world with the message of healthy eating as “children learn through fun and fantasy.” She also recommends that parents be creative in the kitchen and involve their kids when they’re making dinner.

While Alexa recognizes it’s not always easy to prepare a healthy, scratch-cooked meal every day, and not all parents have time, she also notes that parents who can develop this habit with their children are giving their kids a lifelong gift.

“Even if it’s just on the weekends, bring your kids into it. When they participate in it, it’s exciting.”

Throughout her 15 years in the classroom, Alexa has noticed the connection between food and her students’ focus in the classroom. Some of her students go through picky phases, others love their food, and others don’t want to eat at all. It’s all about moving them in the right direction and setting them off on the right path to make healthy eating choices a priority for a long and happy life. 

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/junk-food-jolene-changed-her-ways/#disqus_thread 2017-05-08T15:28:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Seeking Marketing & Communications Manager]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/seeking-marketing-communications-manager/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/seeking-marketing-communications-manager/#When:20:32:00Z We're looking for a full-time Marketing and Communications Manager to join our team!

About Chef Ann Foundation:

Founded in 2009 by Chef Ann Cooper, a pioneer in school food reform, the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) believes that every child should have access to fresh, healthy food every day so that they can develop healthy eating habits to last a lifetime. We think the greatest impact can be had through changing school food. By providing school communities with tools, training, resources and funding, we are able to help schools create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments. To date, we’ve reached over 8,000 schools and nearly 2,700,000 children in all 50 states.

We are looking for a Marketing & Communications Manager to oversee all aspects of the Chef Ann Foundation’s public-facing communications and marketing. The Marketing & Communications Manager will conduct outreach initiatives, maintain and enhance the digital media presence of the foundation, support the awareness of our school food programs, and assist in fundraising initiatives. This is a full-time position available immediately. Below is a list of responsibilities and qualifications:

Major Responsibilities:

Digital Marketing (20%)

  • Maintain and grow the Chef Ann Foundation and Salad Bars to Schools’ social media presence on various platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Compile and analyze monthly digital statistics reports to adapt and enhance the marketing strategy based on identified trends.
  • Conduct website maintenance, creating new and updating existing key content areas.
  • Manage and implement email newsletter program including scheduling, design, content collection, and engagement.

Design (10%)

  • Coordinate photo and film shoots.
  • Create graphic design materials for digital and print mediums.

Communications (20%)

  • Clearly and effectively communicate CAF’s mission, vision, and programs to supporters, media, funders, and individual donor base.
  • Manage all aspects of CAF’s communications calendar: create original content and edit 3rd party and staff contributions for CAF’s blog, newsletters, email campaigns, websites, and Annual Report.
  • Proof/edit CAF’s public facing documents as needed.

Development (20%)

  • Coordinate and represent CAF at conferences, trade shows, and events.
  • Work with Development Director to plan and implement key fundraising campaigns like #RealSchoolFood, Year End Campaign, Real School Food Challenges, and Global Giving.
  • Draft and edit grant applications and corporate sponsorship proposals.
  • Manage donor recognition process.

Programs Support (20%)

  • Work with Programs team to schedule, promote, and run CAF’s webinar trainings.
  • Design report templates for funders of CAF’s programs.
  • Work with programs team to draft and implement marketing launch and awareness campaigns for key programs.

Public Relations (10%)

  • Conduct outreach to influencer networks for guest blogs and placements of CAF content.
  • Manage all media inquiries, press lists, press releases, and outreach to celebrity publicists.
  • Develop a strategy to engage and utilize CAF’s blogger list.
  • Create relationships with key influencers, partner organizations, and donors, and maintain consistent communication with existing partners.

Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • A passion for health and strong interest in childhood wellness.
  • Undergraduate degree in marketing, communications, or related field.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Experience writing press releases and outreach to press preferred.
  • Ability to multi-task and complete multiple projects related to various programs.
  • Proficiency in technology, including but not limited to; Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Illustrator, MailChimp, CMS (WordPress, Expression Engine), Google Analytics, and social media platforms.
  • Experience using Sales Force a plus
  • Outstanding organizational skills to ensure all aspects of CAF marketing fulfill strategic goals.
  •  Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.


Compensation ranges between $37-43,000 per year and will be commensurate with the candidate’s previous experience and credentials. The Chef Ann Foundation is a great place to work and provides its staff with a competitive package including health insurance reimbursement, professional development, and paid time off.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume, both of which should demonstrate your experience, qualifications, educational background, and your desire to fill this position, to Mara Fleishman, Chief Executive Officer at info@chefannfoundation.org with the subject title “CAF Marketing & Education Manager”. The deadline to apply is May 29, 2017. Position is based in Boulder, CO. 

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/seeking-marketing-communications-manager/#disqus_thread 2017-05-04T20:32:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Introducing Our New Chief Programs Officer]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/introducing-our-new-chief-programs-officer/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/introducing-our-new-chief-programs-officer/#When:20:41:00Z Heidi Kessler is bringing her expertise in school food reform to the Chef Ann Foundation team!


My name is Heidi Kessler and it is an honor and a privilege to introduce myself as the new Chief Programs Officer for the Chef Ann Foundation.

My life experience, starting from when I was a toddler eating strawberries from my mother’s garden, to studying public health and nutritional science throughout college and graduate school, to working in childhood obesity prevention and school food reform over the past decade, has culminated into this great opportunity to be able to contribute to the incredible mission of the Chef Ann Foundation.

I have been an admirer of Chef Ann Cooper’s work since 2009, when I first heard of the Renegade Lunch Lady. In my work with school nutrition programs, I have kept my eye on Chef Ann’s approach for inspiration, and have valued the Chef Ann Foundation not only for its visionary leadership towards what school meals can and should be, but also for the concrete, practical tools and trainings that can be used by school nutrition professionals immediately. Resources from The Lunch Box have been invaluable tools in my training of school nutrition professionals and partners for years.

As a strong advocate and supporter of school nutrition programs, I’ve developed a unique approach of partnering with school nutrition directors and managers that fosters collaborative decision making, addresses differences in school environments, and takes each school's level of readiness into account. Ultimately, this means more kids are eating healthier food at school!

I’ve spent extensive time with school nutrition professionals, and I understand the rewards and challenges associated with feeding kids healthy school meals every day. 

I am so proud to join an organization that has improved school nutrition for more than 2.7 million children in over 8,000 schools. It has been my mission to transform school meals for the nutritional benefit of children, and I could not be more excited to apply my energy to the Chef Ann Foundation! 

Love at First Sight

When I first met the Chef Ann team, it felt like love at first sight. This is a team that is focused, committed, and creative in achieving and exceeding goals. Together, we will continue to provide training, funding, resources, and expertise to school nutrition professionals and advocates, and we will keep promoting the operational skills and strategic vision needed to accelerate school food reform and elevate child nutrition.

Keep your eye on the Chef Ann Foundation. We are changing the world one school lunch at a time!

I look forward to getting to know you. Thank you!

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/introducing-our-new-chief-programs-officer/#disqus_thread 2017-04-20T20:41:00+00:00
<![CDATA[What the Chef Ann Foundation is Serving Up in 2017]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/what-the-chef-ann-foundation-is-serving-up-in-2017/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/what-the-chef-ann-foundation-is-serving-up-in-2017/#When:21:31:00Z A snapshot of what's on the menu.

While 2017 has brought this country many changes, at the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) we have been doing the same old thing—helping schools serve up healthier food.

2016 was an incredible year that enabled our programs to reach almost 400,000 kids nationwide! That pushes our total reach to 8000+ schools and 2.7 million kids!

However, there are still so many schools eager for our support, our waitlists are growing, and with school food reform continuing to take hold, we’re ready to push forward in 2017 with new and existing programs to reach even more children.

Here are just a few of the things our team is really excited about:

250,542 Kids!

That is our reach goal for 2017!

Salad, Salad, and More Salad

If you have followed CAF for any amount of time, you know that one of the best ways to get more fresh fruit and vegetables into schools is to incorporate a salad bar.

Based on the research conducted in 2014, 78% of schools that have implemented salad bars reported an increase in purchase of fruits and veggies.

To date, through our Let’s Move! partnership we have helped over 4,800 schools get salad bars, serving over 2.4 million kids, and in 2017, we’re projecting another 350 schools will receive salad bars, reaching another 175,000 kids.

Get Ready for Professor Cooper

Thanks to the Colorado Health Foundation, we will be launching our new School Food Institute this year. We will be providing innovative online learning classes for school nutrition professionals that allows them to meet their continuing education credits.

These courses will explore the fundamentals of school food operations through a cook-from-scratch lens. Altogether, we will be rolling out eight courses taught by Chef Ann Cooper, the first will launch in the fall of 2017. 

We don’t want to leave the lay people out! Get ready for School Food 101 which is geared toward undergraduate students who are interested in how school food fits into the larger food systems framework.

The Food Lab at Stony Brook University in South Hampton, New York is partnering with us to roll out a 15-week, online course that will cover childhood wellness in the US, school food operations, and how school food plays a part in the larger picture of sustainable food systems.

For those of you who have wanted to learn from Ann, now is your chance!

Seven More Districts Commit to Scratch-Cooking

In partnership with the Life Time Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, we launched School Food Support Initiative in 2015. This program provides districts individual support to help them move to a cook-from-scratch operation through on-site assessments, strategic planning, technical assistance, and funding to schools.

We were excited to see Pew’s study that came out in Dec, 2016 which found that “Directors whose programs prepared more foods from scratch and increased the use of salad bars were more likely to report that student participation rose.” You can read the full results of the study here

We will be working closely with the seven districts that were accepted into the 2017 cohort over the next two years to provide comprehensive support and help them move the needle. Stay tuned!

The 2017 Districts are:

  • Brewster Central Schools District (Brewster, NY)
  • Fridley Public Schools (Fridley, MN)
  • Norwood City School District (Norwood, OH)
  • Ocean View School District (Oxnard, CA)
  • Oxford School District (Oxford, MS)
  • Staunton City Schools (Staunton, VA)
  • Tempe Elementary School District (Tempe, AZ)

Don’t Blink or You’ll Miss All of the New Things on the Lunch Box!

The Lunch Box (TLB) will be a busy destination this year for school food service operators. We will be adding 60 new, farm-to-school and plant-forward recipes, including contributions from celebrity chefs, Ris Lacoste and Daniel Asher. We’ll also publish 50 new blog posts covering key topics like “The Keys to Commodity Planning” and “Infrastructure Needed for Scratch-Cooking in Schools.”

In our continuing webinar series, experts will be joining us to cover school food trucks, farm-to-school recipes and menu cycles, and human resources in school food services departments, along with a variety of other topics.

Our new Project Produce best practices database is now live and it is a great tool for schools that want to implement fruit and veggie trial and education programs in their lunchrooms. Like South Hamiliton’s Community School District in Jewell, IA and their “Try Day Friday” program.

Plants on the Menu!

CAF has partnered with Whole Kids Foundation to help schools and districts that want to extend their plant-forward menu offerings.

CAF’s Plant Forward Menu program will help schools gradually decrease the dominance of animal-based protein that we see on school food menus around the country.

The benefits of plant-based eating has been well-documented over the last few years. Some studies even report that it takes nearly 100 times more water to produce one pound of animal protein vs. one pound of plant-based protein.

Even if a school can only reduce their reliance on animal protein by 5-10%, it makes a large impact. By the end of 2017, our program will have taken shape with recipes, menus, and information for schools and communities that address the impact of increased plant-forward eating.

Got Foodie Friends Up for a Challenge?

If you have not attended a Real School Food Challenge yet, you’re missing out!

We pull groups of home chefs or professional chefs together to stretch their culinary talents and compete to create the tastiest and healthiest, USDA-compliant school food recipe. All for only $1.25 a meal (the approximate amount that schools have to cover their food costs).

This year, we have some amazing events scheduled with chefs in California and New Orleans. Stay in touch on social media to hear about Real School Food Challenge events across the country and if you’re interested in hosting one in your area, visit this page to learn more and then reach out to Danielle Staunton to get started.

And those are just the highlights. The CAF team’s passion and dedication to school food reform is unsurpassed. So, while 2017 progresses and feels like we might not know what’s around the corner all the time, know that the CAF team will stay laser-focused on ensuring all kids have access to fresh, healthy food every day at school.

To stay up-to-date with everything that we’re doing this year, sign up for our newsletter!

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http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/what-the-chef-ann-foundation-is-serving-up-in-2017/#disqus_thread 2017-04-05T21:31:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Chipotle’s RAD Lands Partners with the Chef Ann Foundation]]> Sarah Flinn http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/chipotles-rad-lands-partners-with-the-chef-ann-foundation/ http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/chipotles-rad-lands-partners-with-the-chef-ann-foundation/#When:16:35:00Z The new children’s show is teaching kids how to make healthy eating choices while improving school food at the same time.

We all know that junk food companies have been heavy handed in their efforts to market directly to kids. It’s everywhere from the commercials that play during their favorite shows, to the toys that come in happy meals, to the placement of cartoon-shaped cookies on the grocery store shelves.

Sure, Sesame Street may have scaled back the Cookie Monster’s consumption and started teaching the value of moderation, but it takes more than one character, or one show to shift the paradigm.

Now, Chipotle is stepping up to the plate with their new show for kids, RAD Lands.

“Our goal is to spark conversation and curiosity among families, ideally leading to parents and kids talking about food and making smarter, more informed choices together.” –Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle Chief Marketing and Development Officer

Healthy Food Can Be Fun Food

For some reason, we all got it in our heads that healthy food can’t be fun food, but here at the Chef Ann Foundation we have found time and time again that kids enjoy trying new, healthy foods. The naturally bright red beets can have kids fascinated. Digging in the dirt and learning how a head of lettuce grows can be mesmerizing.

RAD Lands is a show for kids to teach them about making good food choices. There are celebrity chefs, musicians, and YouTube stars who teach kids where their food comes from and how it’s prepared. It’s done in a fun way that looks and feels just like every other show made for children.

Chef Ann Foundation + RAD Lands

Chipotle and the Chef Ann Foundation partnered for the launch of the new show for a simple reason. It made sense.

We both have the goal of improving the food available to kids, whether that’s in school cafeterias or when they’re out eating dinner. Chef Ann Foundation and Chipotle both recognize the need for food that tastes good, nourishes our bodies and minds, and supports sustainable farming practices. It’s good for our health, it’s good for our environment, and it’s good for our future.

And as part of the RAD Lands launch and to support school lunches, Chipotle is donating $100,000 to the Chef Ann Foundation!

“Chipotle and the ‘RAD Lands’ series are a great fit with the values of the Chef Ann Foundation. We are thrilled with the generous support from Chipotle and iTunes through this program, and hope It furthers awareness around healthy eating choices and encourages others to contribute what they can to influence future generations’ views on food.” –Chef Ann Cooper

Where to Eat Tonight

We want you to eat out with your family at your local Chipotle and take the opportunity to start up a conversation about your food choices. Chipotle is a great place to do that because they’re committed to serving real ingredients sourced from farms, not factories.

Your kids are never too young to start teaching them about where their food comes from and how to appreciate the value of nutritious food. 

Interested in reading more helpful articles from us?  Sign up for our newsletter

http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/chipotles-rad-lands-partners-with-the-chef-ann-foundation/#disqus_thread 2017-03-20T16:35:00+00:00