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Healthy School Food Pathway

Start or advance a mission-driven culinary career in scratch-cooked school food through state- and federally registered Pre-Apprenticeship, Apprenticeship, and Fellowship programs.

  • Fall 2024 California Pre-Apprenticeship applications are open now through August 26. Learn more and apply.

  • Fall 2024 Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship applications open June 17. Learn more.

  • 2025 National Fellowship applications open in August. Learn more.

Healthy School Food Pathway

Start or advance a mission-driven culinary career in scratch-cooked school food through state- and federally registered Pre-Apprenticeship, Apprenticeship, and Fellowship programs.

  • Fall 2024 California Pre-Apprenticeship applications are open now through August 26. Learn more and apply.

  • Fall 2024 Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship applications open June 17. Learn more.

  • 2025 National Fellowship applications open in August. Learn more.

About

School food offers a mission-driven, creative, culinary career path focused on supporting the health of children so they can thrive in the classroom — and beyond. Healthy School Food Pathway helps aspiring, beginner, and experienced school food professionals gain the skills they need to create and manage successful K–12 scratch-cook meal operations. 

The program consists of three components: 

  • Pre-Apprenticeship for aspiring and beginner school food professionals 
  • Apprenticeship for people who complete the Pre-Apprenticeship and want to deepen their knowledge and skills 
  • Fellowship for mid- and upper-level school food professionals who want to become leaders in school food change

The Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship are currently available in California and Colorado (more states to come!); the Fellowship is available nationwide.

About

School food offers a mission-driven, creative, culinary career path focused on supporting the health of children so they can thrive in the classroom — and beyond. Healthy School Food Pathway helps aspiring, beginner, and experienced school food professionals gain the skills they need to create and manage successful K–12 scratch-cook meal operations. 

The program consists of three components: 

  • Pre-Apprenticeship for aspiring and beginner school food professionals 
  • Apprenticeship for people who complete the Pre-Apprenticeship and want to deepen their knowledge and skills 
  • Fellowship for mid- and upper-level school food professionals who want to become leaders in school food change

The Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship are currently available in California and Colorado (more states to come!); the Fellowship is available nationwide.

Healthy School Food Pathway is administered by the Chef Ann Foundation in partnership with more than 50 school districts. It’s program components are vetted by and registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and state government workforce agencies.


Pre-Apprenticeship

The Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprenticeship provides an entry point to a career in healthy, scratch-cooked school food. It is designed for individuals who have some to no experience in school food or scratch cooking. 

  • Seven weeks of paid, on-the-job learning (12 hours per week)
  • Three online courses through Chef Ann Foundation’s School Food Institute (15 hours)
  • Two live virtual learning sessions with scratch-cooking and school food experts (1.5 hours each)
  • Networking opportunities with other school food professionals
  • Pre-Apprenticeship graduates are eligible to advance to nine-month Apprenticeship program (details below)

Pre-Apprenticeship is currently available to California and Colorado residents only. The California Pre-Apprenticeship application period for Fall 2024 is open now until August 26th. The Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship application period will open on June 17th.

Pre-Apprenticeship

The Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprenticeship provides an entry point to a career in healthy, scratch-cooked school food. It is designed for individuals who have some to no experience in school food or scratch cooking. 

  • Seven weeks of paid, on-the-job learning (12 hours per week)
  • Three online courses through Chef Ann Foundation’s School Food Institute (15 hours)
  • Two live virtual learning sessions with scratch-cooking and school food experts (1.5 hours each)
  • Networking opportunities with other school food professionals
  • Pre-Apprenticeship graduates are eligible to advance to nine-month Apprenticeship program (details below)

Pre-Apprenticeship is currently available to California and Colorado residents only. The California Pre-Apprenticeship application period for Fall 2024 is open now until August 26th. The Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship application period will open on June 17th.


Apprenticeship

Individuals who complete the Pre-Apprenticeship are eligible to deepen their knowledge and skills by participating in the more comprehensive Healthy School Food Pathway Apprenticeship program. 

  • Nine months of paid, on-the-job learning over a full school year (24 hours per week)
  • Online courses through the Institute of Child Nutrition (59 hours) and Chef Ann Foundation’s School Food Institute (40 hours)
  • 18 live virtual learning sessions with scratch-cooking and school food experts (45 hours)
  • Networking opportunities with other school food professionals

Apprenticeship is available to California and Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship graduates only.

Apprenticeship

Individuals who complete the Pre-Apprenticeship are eligible to deepen their knowledge and skills by participating in the more comprehensive Healthy School Food Pathway Apprenticeship program. 

  • Nine months of paid, on-the-job learning over a full school year (24 hours per week)
  • Online courses through the Institute of Child Nutrition (59 hours) and Chef Ann Foundation’s School Food Institute (40 hours)
  • 18 live virtual learning sessions with scratch-cooking and school food experts (45 hours)
  • Networking opportunities with other school food professionals

Apprenticeship is available to California and Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship graduates only.


Fellowship

The Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship helps experienced school food professionals realize their visions for school food change — both locally in their home districts and at a national scale. 

Over 13 months, Fellows: 

  • Cultivate leadership skills
  • Learn how school food is influenced by and affects the U.S. food system at large
  • Become experts on and advocates for healthy school food policy
  • Expand their professional network

The Fellowship culminates in a capstone project that benefits Fellows’ home district while simultaneously serving as a model for school food programs everywhere. 

The Fellowship is available nationwide. Applications for the 2025 Fellowship open in August 2024.

Fellowship

The Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship helps experienced school food professionals realize their visions for school food change — both locally in their home districts and at a national scale. 

Over 13 months, Fellows: 

  • Cultivate leadership skills
  • Learn how school food is influenced by and affects the U.S. food system at large
  • Become experts on and advocates for healthy school food policy
  • Expand their professional network

The Fellowship culminates in a capstone project that benefits Fellows’ home district while simultaneously serving as a model for school food programs everywhere. 

The Fellowship is available nationwide. Applications for the 2025 Fellowship open in August 2024.


Become a Host District

Are you a California or Colorado school district interested in hosting Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprentices and Apprentices? More than 50 school districts are currently participating in the program — and the number continues to grow! 

The program benefits districts in a number of ways:

  • Connects districts with workers who are passionate about healthy school food and scratch cooking
  • Provides technical assistance to support day-to-day scratch cooking school food operations
  • Develops school food teams’ skills to help district achieve their unique school food goals
  • Helps districts implementing more scratch cooking to support student health and learning, as well as environmental sustainability goals — from reducing waste, to procuring more ingredients locally

If your district is interested in learning more about becoming a Healthy School Food Pathway host site, please complete this form. A Chef Ann Foundation team member will follow up with you.

Become a Host District

Are you a California or Colorado school district interested in hosting Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprentices and Apprentices? More than 50 school districts are currently participating in the program — and the number continues to grow! 

The program benefits districts in a number of ways:

  • Connects districts with workers who are passionate about healthy school food and scratch cooking
  • Provides technical assistance to support day-to-day scratch cooking school food operations
  • Develops school food teams’ skills to help district achieve their unique school food goals
  • Helps districts implementing more scratch cooking to support student health and learning, as well as environmental sustainability goals — from reducing waste, to procuring more ingredients locally

If your district is interested in learning more about becoming a Healthy School Food Pathway host site, please complete this form. A Chef Ann Foundation team member will follow up with you.

Powered by School Food Professionals Campaign

Fresher. Healthier. Tastier. School food professionals are making it happen. We partnered with the state of California to launch a first-of-its-kind public education campaign that puts a spotlight on the skill, creativity, and commitment of school food professionals working to improve school meals.

Check out the campaign website to go behind-the-scenes with school food professionals who are leading the charge for school food change. You can also follow the campaign on social media on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook.

Powered by School Food Professionals Campaign

Fresher. Healthier. Tastier. School food professionals are making it happen. We partnered with the state of California to launch a first-of-its-kind public education campaign that puts a spotlight on the skill, creativity, and commitment of school food professionals working to improve school meals.

Check out the campaign website to go behind-the-scenes with school food professionals who are leading the charge for school food change. You can also follow the campaign on social media on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook.


Questions


Chef Ann Foundation will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SEX (INCLUDING PREGNANCY AND GENDER IDENTITY), SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENETIC INFORMATION, OR BECAUSE THEY ARE AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY OR A PERSON 40 YEARS OLD OR OLDER. Chef Ann Foundation will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.

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