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Healthy School Food Pathway

Scratch Cooking for the Future

Pre-Apprenticeship

Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) and California’s Community Colleges have partnered in the development of a pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and fellowship program that will support education and workforce development for healthy school food in California. The programs will provide California’s Community College students, incumbent school food service staff, and displaced or transitional workers in related industries with education and hands-on experience in operating healthy K-12 school meal programs.

Healthy School Food Pathway

Scratch Cooking for the Future

Pre-Apprenticeship

Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) and California’s Community Colleges have partnered in the development of a pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and fellowship program that will support education and workforce development for healthy school food in California. The programs will provide California’s Community College students, incumbent school food service staff, and displaced or transitional workers in related industries with education and hands-on experience in operating healthy K-12 school meal programs.

The Opportunity

At a time of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, significant investment in climate solutions through food and agricultural system reforms, renewed momentum across multiple social justice movements, and the prioritization of workforce development through upskilling and living wage job creation, school food is being recognized as a key lever at the nexus of multiple priorities.

California became the first state in the country to enact universal school meals. In the same budget, the state has chosen to make significant investments through farm to school grants, school kitchen infrastructure upgrades, climate smart agriculture, workforce development, and many other areas of innovation. School food leaders are a critical link in realizing the potential of these investments.

The Healthy School Food Pathway program supports workforce readiness for California’s Community College students, as well as incumbent and displaced workers, to expand the pipeline for the next generation of school food leaders. From entry-level positions through school food management, these professionals will impact millions of children with greater access to fresh, healthy food. Across 1,037 California public school districts, skilled culinary professionals will support transformative change from within the school food system.

The Purpose

Making the transition from heat-and-serve to scratch-cook programs requires a dedicated and informed school food service team. While there are resources available to positively impact school meal programs, the key to transformative change is skilled labor with mastery in 5 key areas: Food, Finance, Facilities, Human Resources, and Marketing.

The Purpose

Making the transition from heat-and-serve to scratch-cook programs requires a dedicated and informed school food service team. While there are resources available to positively impact school meal programs, the key to transformative change is skilled labor with mastery in 5 key areas: Food, Finance, Facilities, Human Resources, and Marketing.

The future of school food will be led by diverse, prepared, and confident leaders with in-depth knowledge and experience in developing and administering successful scratch-cook meal programs. Without training, it can be difficult for a district to know where to start and how to continue to take manageable steps in pursuit of their long-term goals. Data indicate that scratch cooking for school meals can improve school meal participation, student health and wellness, academic performance, and financial sustainability of meal programs, while also supporting the local economy and improving environmental impacts.

Pre-Apprenticeship

The program will begin with a paid pre-apprenticeship, starting on February 28, 2022. Compensation: Pre-Apprentices will receive a stipend totaling $1,500 for the on-the-job learning portion

The program lasts 12 weeks and includes:

  • 9 School Food Institute courses: 44 hours (9 hours pre-read, 9 hours homework, 26 hours online learning)

  • 3 virtual learning sessions: 4.5 hours (3 sessions, 1.5 hours each)

  • On-the-job learning: 96 hours (~8 hours a week)

Pre-Apprenticeship

The program will begin with a paid pre-apprenticeship, starting on February 28, 2022. Compensation: Pre-Apprentices will receive a stipend totaling $1,500 for the on-the-job learning portion

The program lasts 12 weeks and includes:

  • 9 School Food Institute courses: 44 hours (9 hours pre-read, 9 hours homework, 26 hours online learning)

  • 3 virtual learning sessions: 4.5 hours (3 sessions, 1.5 hours each)

  • On-the-job learning: 96 hours (~8 hours a week)

Apprenticeship & Fellowship

COMING SOON

Fall 2022

Job Description

Interested in applying for the pre-apprenticeship program? Click here or download the full job description.

*Spanish application coming soon.


Discover More

Salad Bars To Schools

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.

School Food Institute

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.

The Lunch Box

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.

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