About the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF)
The Chef Ann Foundation is the parent organization and creator of both The Lunch Box and School Food Institute. CAF provides resources, educational materials and tools for everyone interested in school food change. The Lunch Box is a website that provides guides and tools that are specifically designed to help school food professionals improve their meals and operations. The School Food Institute offers online courses taught by Chef Ann Cooper that focus on key operational categories needed in leading school food programs through a transition to serving whole, fresh, healthy foods to kids.
CAF also serves as the managing partner of Salad Bars to Schools (SB2S) — a salad bar granting program — by overseeing the day-to-day programming for applicants and grantees. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools was founded by the Chef Ann Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Produce Association Foundation, and Whole Foods Market in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.
The Chef Ann Foundation offers specific grants to help improve school food. We do not accept unsolicited grant proposals outside of these programs. As a nonprofit, we raise funds to carry out these programs and to aid our work in improving school food throughout the country.
As you review our current grant opportunities, please keep in mind that grant applications must be submitted by a district’s Food Service Director or whomever is in charge of food service. If you are a parent, teacher, or community member interested in improving school food in your area, we suggest you check out our School Food Advocacy Toolkit.
Chef Ann Cooper, CAF’s founder and board President, was previously the Director of Food Services for Boulder Valley School District. However, CAF works with and supports school districts across the country and does not control or operate the food service program at BVSD. CAF does partner with BVSD on various projects, such as testing recipes for The Lunch Box and hosting Get Schools Cooking program recipients, but they are completely separate entities.
Thank you for your interest in supporting CAF! We partner with businesses, foundations, organizations, and individuals with a focus on improving the health and wellbeing of children. If your organization promotes childhood wellness, nutritious meals in schools, or healthy food systems, please contact us.
We do not have a volunteer program, as each school and district we work with have their own volunteer needs and portals. The best way to help us achieve our goals is to work at the grassroots level to spearhead school food change in your own community. We recommend that parents, advocates, and teachers utilize CAF’s resources For Supporters and School Food Advocacy Toolkit to begin that process and let us know what changes you are making in your school district and at home. We’d love to share your stories and successes (like hosting a Real School Food Challenge in your community!)
There are several ways that you can support us:
- Become a CAF member with a monthly donation to sustain and grow our programs. As our membership grows, so does the momentum of the school food reform movement.
- Stay connected by signing up for our newsletter in the footer and also following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
- Share news of our work with friends, colleagues, state officials, and school food service staff. Let them know what you’ve learned on social media, through letters to stakeholders (parent groups, school admin, teachers, staff, school board, etc.), and presentations to school groups in your community.
- Host your own Real School Food Challenge! We’ve collected all the info and resources you need for this fun event.
- Here are a few more ways you can support healthy school food.
Yes, we do! We work with school districts all across the country through our grant programs. We suggest you read through our programs and their eligibility requirements to see which one(s) is a good fit for your district.
When capacity allows, we do work with school districts looking to move to a self-operated cook from scratch program but may not fit the criteria or timing of our open grants. If you have questions about whether a program is a good fit, please feel free to contact us.
We also encourage you to visit The Lunch Box where you will find free guides and tools to help you improve your school food program.
If you are a national or regional organization seeking Chef Ann as a speaker, please complete our contact us form to tell us more about your event and we will get back to you as soon as possible with details including availability and speaker fee.
We are a small team here at CAF, and while we’d like to support every school and organization event, we have limited capacity to physically participate in each one. If you are a school or a district hosting a school food event, you are welcome to contact us to let us know more about it. We’re happy to help in any way that we can.