COVID-19 Resources & Support

About This Page

The novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) has led to sudden, widespread school closures across the country and globe. School food teams have been working tirelessly to adapt to school closures and provide remote feeding solutions to their communities. To ensure our nation's children are fed during this crisis, we’ve pulled together resources from our partner organizations, federal entities, and school districts.

We’ve also gathered:

  • Resources for parents
  • Ways to support districts and Chef Ann Foundation
  • Stories of individuals working hard on the front lines

A Letter from CEO Mara Fleishman

Dear Chef Ann Foundation community,

Much like our organization and industry, I'm sure most of you are settling into what has been coined “the new normal.” The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting so many aspects of our lives, and just when we think we have a handle on it, there’s another twist. 

Since the beginning, our school food service professionals have been on the front lines of this crisis. They’re working very long hours, creating makeshift cafeterias, and ensuring that our most vulnerable populations have food and nourishment. We are incredibly grateful for their service to our country. 

We also want to appreciate those who have reached out asking how they can help during this time. The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) wants to make sure that we provide support where it’s needed, and right now school districts are focused on keeping their communities fed.

Because many school food leadership teams had to create emergency plans in such a short time period, they didn’t have the opportunity initially to confer with fellow districts on planning and issues. So within this section, you will find operational plans from our partner districts, providing an at-a-glance view of different district’s decisions. 

We have developed this webpage with links to our partner districts’ remote feeding plans, along with topline information about federal guidance during this time. You’ll also find links to partner resources; recipes, activities, and resources for parents; ways to support; and news and articles on COVID-19 and school food during the pandemic.

If you’re able, please visit your school district websites to see if they need donations or volunteers. CAF will continue to connect with all of our partner districts across the country to better understand their needs as this situation evolves. If you wish to support CAF at this time, please visit our donation page here. Any and all support is greatly appreciated. 

Stay safe and healthy, and take care of each other.

Mara Fleishman
Chief Executive Officer
Chef Ann Foundation

COVID-19: Resources for Schools

Bus route distribution has allowed Danielle Bock’s school district in northern Colorado to nearly triple its meal capacity during coronavirus. (Courtesy of Danielle Bock / Vox)

The Chef Ann Foundation is focused on providing school districts nationwide with the tools, resources, grants, and funding necessary to provide students with healthy meals. To stay true to our mission even during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve gathered helpful resources and links to offer support for districts who are operating a remote feeding program amid this crisis.

Grants & Funding

Operational Resources

Free and Reduced Meal Applications

As more and more individuals lose their jobs, families are becoming food insecure overnight. We encourage districts to spread the word to your community about free and reduced applications. If you have staff that are unable to participate in food distribution but need hours, consider directing them to call families to go over the process and answer questions. You could also include a flyer with more information in your meal bags. 

We have linked resources from Hunger Free Colorado to help you craft some marketing materials in English and Spanish. Please note that the resources linked suggest in-person applications. During this health crisis, we do not advocate for any non-essential in-person congregation. For more ideas to help increase free and reduced-price lunch participation from Hunger Free Colorado, click here. Direct families to this USDA page that provides more information as to how to apply for free and reduced priced school meals. 

Examples of Emergency Feeding Plans & Other Communications

Emergency Feeding Plans

Other Media & Communications

COVID-19: Resources for Parents

At the Chef Ann Foundation, we continue to focus on school food operational support. However, we know this difficult time affects everyone, including parents with children no longer in school. Here are some resources from our partners focused on parent support.

Recipes & Cooking

Additional Resources from Our Partners

COVID-19: Resources for Kids

We’re collecting more resources and working on updating this page. Check back soon for more!

Independent Kid Activites

Parent-Guided Activities

Additional Resources from Our Partners

COVID-19: Ways to Support

Over 30 million children eat school lunch every day. More than 21 million are on the free or reduced-price program. Because of district closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of America’s school children are in need of daily meals—and school food teams are stepping up to ensure they’re taken care of.

Whether it’s making a charitable contribution or volunteering your time at a local school district, every effort counts. Here, we’ve listed ways to support school food teams and children nationwide during this uncertain time.

Donation Opportunities

 The Chef Ann Foundation is assisting school districts across the nation with shared tools, resources, and guidance to ensure vulnerable children do not experience a lapse in food security due to COVID-19 school closures.

Click here to donate and support our work!


Donate to the School Nutrition Foundation's fundraiser to help districts feed children affected by COVID-19 school closures! This GoFundMe campaign will fund purchases of food and packaging for grab-and-go meals, mobile carts and kiosks for curbside service, supplies, and personal protection equipment. Click here to learn more and donate.

You can also donate to the COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund, from Partnership for a Healthier America. Click here to learn more.

Showing Gratitude

Chef Tom Colicchio Honors America's School Food Heroes

A Special Thank You from the Chef Ann Foundation Team

Chef José Andrés Thanks America's School Lunch Heroes

Sign a Thank You Card to School Food Professionals

Want to share a special thank you of your own? Click here to sign The Lunch Tray's Thank You Card for America's School Food Professionals. You can also view others’ responses here.

COVID-19: Hero Highlights

With so many incredible people working to feed America’s children during the COVID-19 crisis, we want to showcase their heroic efforts and uplifting outlooks. Check out our series, Hero Highlights, to read and listen to their stories.

Hero Highlights | Stories from the Field is presented by Danone North America.


COVID-19: Other Resources

We hope these general resources are helpful for anyone from school food professionals to parents and healthy food advocates.

COVID-19 Grants & Funding for Schools

A Special Thank You

Join Chef Tom Colicchio in honoring America's school food heroes!

Show Your Gratitude

Please click here to sign The Lunch Tray's Thank You Card for America's School Food Professionals.

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