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Fellowship

School Food Leadership Development

The HSFP Fellowship Program will develop the next generation of diverse leaders in scratch-cook school food operations that can support a sustainable program and drive school food reform. Over a 12-month period, operators will grow their skills, knowledge and abilities through live, virtual learning sessions; in-person site visits and training; asynchronous, self-led instruction; and engagement within their own districts to implement their new ideas.

Fellows will graduate from the program empowered to operate successful self-run, scratch-cook meal programs and advocate for serving fresh and healthy meals to students. If you have an interest in advancing your career in school food service leadership, the Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship is the program for you. Fellowship program is open to school food professionals across the country thanks to our founding partners Whole Kids Foundation and the state of CA.

The application for the national Fellowship is currently closed. Subscribe below to receive program updates, including 2024 application opening.

Fellowship

School Food Leadership Development

The HSFP Fellowship Program will develop the next generation of diverse leaders in scratch-cook school food operations that can support a sustainable program and drive school food reform. Over a 12-month period, operators will grow their skills, knowledge and abilities through live, virtual learning sessions; in-person site visits and training; asynchronous, self-led instruction; and engagement within their own districts to implement their new ideas.

Fellows will graduate from the program empowered to operate successful self-run, scratch-cook meal programs and advocate for serving fresh and healthy meals to students. If you have an interest in advancing your career in school food service leadership, the Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship is the program for you. Fellowship program is open to school food professionals across the country thanks to our founding partners Whole Kids Foundation and the state of CA.

The application for the national Fellowship is currently closed. Subscribe below to receive program updates, including 2024 application opening.

2023 Cohort

On January 9th, we welcomed the first cohort of school food leaders from across the country to participate in the year-long Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship program. Over the next year, Fellows will participate in weekly live learning sessions with 13 content area leads, gain hands-on experience in exemplary school districts and through the Culinary Institute for Child Nutrition, earn a certificate in food systems and food justice, and build their network of scratch cooked school food peers. Their experience will culminate in an implementation-based capstone project demonstrating the application of their learning to benefit their home school district and ultimately cultivate transformative change within the school food system! Read our blog to learn more about this new cohort.

Alonso Alonso

San Bernardino City Unified School District (CA)

Barbara Macleod

Boulder Valley School District (CO)

Brittney Rodriguez

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District (CA)

Christina Lawson

Western Placer Unified School District (CA)

Daryl Christian

New Haven Unified School District (CA)

Erin Camacho

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System (NMI)

Iris Tirado

Concordia Charter School (AZ)

Jason Tepper

Alexandria City Public Schools (VA)

Josie Perez

Redlands Unified School District (CA)

Juan Lopez

Brownsville Independent School District (TX)

Kelli Seidel

San Juan Unified School District (CA)

Kelsey Berrini

Evanston Township High School District (IL)

Liz Estavillo Valdez

Bassett Unified School District (CA)

Maly Pra

Pleasanton Unified School District (CA)

Nick Dramis

Marysville Joint Unified School District (CA)

Nick Vedia

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VA)

Randal Lane

West Contra Costa Unified School District (CA)

Renee Swank

Norfolk Public Schools (VA)

Rhima Blenkhorn

Twin Rivers Unified School District (CA)

Richie Wilim

Vacaville Unified School District (CA)

Shana Cash

Purdue Polytechnic High School District (IN)

Tricia Kastelitz

Suffolk Public Schools (VA)

Warren Ryan

San Bernardino City Unified School District (CA)

Zena Martinez

Glendale Union High School District (AZ)

Core Pillars

EXPERIENCE - This Fellowship will feature interactive and hands-on components that allow Fellows to gain knowledge through first-hand experiences and apply key learnings to their own district.

BUILD - Throughout the course of the Fellowship, Fellows will expand their network and systems-based skill set while building on their past knowledge and expertise.

LEAD - Fellows will be ready to not only lead their own teams but also demonstrate strong leadership skills to district administrators, community members and others outside their own program.

INSPIRE - Through gained experience and learnings, Fellows will fully understand the power and importance of school food within the larger food system and will feel inspired and confident that not only is change possible but that they can lead that change.

School food is…

  • Poised to be a leader in addressing the climate crisis through strategic procurement practices and menu design.

  • The source of delicious, nutritious food for all children regardless of income.

School food can also be…

  • A well-paid, well-respected career path from cook to manager to supervisor to director.

  • Driven by the diversity of thought, history, and food culture that defines the American experience.

School food is…

  • Poised to be a leader in addressing the climate crisis through strategic procurement practices and menu design.

  • The source of delicious, nutritious food for all children regardless of income.

School food can also be…

  • A well-paid, well-respected career path from cook to manager to supervisor to director.

  • Driven by the diversity of thought, history, and food culture that defines the American experience.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

CAF is committed to incorporating an equity lens throughout the entirety of the program. Not only is CAF striving to create the next generation of leaders but also to elevate diverse leaders that will bring unique perspectives to the world of school food. Many of the children served by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are students of color and seeing individuals that look like them in leadership roles within school food is crucial.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

CAF is committed to incorporating an equity lens throughout the entirety of the program. Not only is CAF striving to create the next generation of leaders but also to elevate diverse leaders that will bring unique perspectives to the world of school food. Many of the children served by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are students of color and seeing individuals that look like them in leadership roles within school food is crucial.

Program Components

The Fellowship program consists of the following:

  • Live, virtual learning sessions with pre-reads and homework

  • Five (5) online School Food Institute courses

  • Asynchronous learning and applied/on-site work

  • Two (2) days of on-site learning at the Culinary Institute of Child Nutrition

  • Two (2) four-day, on-site visits at host school districts

  • One (1) four-day, in-person operators’ conference

  • Group policy project

  • Self-led, implementation-based capstone project

  • In-person capstone presentations and closing celebration

Completion of this program is based on learned competencies and not total number of hours. However, we estimate no more than eight hours of learning per week, except for on-site visits. All work, except for the Capstone, can be completed on personal time, unless previously agreed to by the Fellow’s supervisor. The final Capstone project (50 hours) should be work-related and includes a grant to the school district to support the Fellow’s work.

Main Learning Concepts

- Procurement

- Financial

- Facilities

- Human Resources

- Marketing

- Leadership Development

- School Food within the Food System

- Grant Writing & Fundraising

- Sustainability

- Nutrition

- Policy & Compliance

Main Learning Concepts

- Procurement

- Financial

- Facilities

- Human Resources

- Marketing

- Leadership Development

- School Food within the Food System

- Grant Writing & Fundraising

- Sustainability

- Nutrition

- Policy & Compliance

Eligibility

School food operators working under the National School Lunch Program anywhere in the U.S. are eligible to apply for the Fellowship.

Applicants will have experience in school food service as an Assistant Director, Head Chef, Area Supervisor, or similar mid- to upper-level position.

Applications from those in a director-level position will also be considered should they have less experience and/or operate in a small district.

Applications are currently closed; subscribe below to be notified of program news, including open applications.

Webinar

Want to learn more about the HSFP Fellowship? Watch this brief webinar recorded on September 29, 2022. Laura Smith, Program Director of Workforce Development, covers a program overview, who is eligible, and what you’ll need to apply!

Webinar

Want to learn more about the HSFP Fellowship? Watch this brief webinar recorded on September 29, 2022. Laura Smith, Program Director of Workforce Development, covers a program overview, who is eligible, and what you’ll need to apply!


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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