Our Story

Chef Ann’s vision was to create an organization that helps schools take action so that every child has daily access to fresh, healthy food. Today, the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) carries out that vision by actively supporting school districts nationwide through grant programs and by providing tried and tested tools for school food change. Our major programs include:

  • The Lunch Box: An online resource that provides free step-by-step guides, tools, and recipes to help schools improve their food programs.
  • Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S): A grant program that helps schools expand their commitment to serving fresh fruits and vegetables by implementing salad bars as part of their daily meal programs.
  • Healthy Breakfast for Kids (HB4K): A grant program that supports universal, after-the-bell breakfast in schools in order to reduce the severe negative impact of hunger on school kids across our country.
  • Mission Nutrition: CAF has teamed up with Skoop, a superfoods company, for this grant program, which help schools increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and veggies and nutrition education.
  • Parent Advocacy Initiative (PAI): A program funded by the Whole Kids Foundation that provides parents with tools and resources to lead grassroots advocacy efforts in their school districts. 

“One in three children born today will have diabetes in their lifetime…This is the social justice issue of our time. Every child deserves fresh, healthy food.” –Chef Ann Cooper

Milestones

2008

2009

  • The Lunch Box test site launches.
  • Ann founds Food Family Farming Foundation (F3).
  • Whole Foods Market shoppers raise funds through the “Whole Foods Market School Food Revolution Campaign” to support the design and construction of an official website for The Lunch Box.

2010

2011

  • LMSB2S grants 516 salad bars to schools, which provides 540,000 kids with daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • F3 launches Healthy Breakfast for Kids (HB4K).
  • The Lunch Box adds over 20 new tutorial videos throughout the website for food service directors and staff.

2012

  • LMSB2S grants 548 salad bars to schools, for an all-time total of 1,628 bars, reaching a grand total of 814,000 kids.
  • HBFK helps 47,717 students gain access to breakfast by providing 117 schools across the nation with equipment grants to implement universal, after-the-bell breakfast programs.
  • The Lunch Box is featured by Rachael Ray’s Yumo! Foundation and Forbes Magazine online.
  • IACP Humanitarian of the Year Award presented to Chef Ann for her work in school food reform.

2013

  • LMSB2S grants an additional 1,209 salad bars to schools, reaching 604,500 kids.
  • F3 receives over $500,000 from The Colorado Health Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation to expand and update The Lunch Box website.
  • F3 receives Whole Kids Foundation recipe grant to fund the development of 50 kid-tested recipes for The Lunch Box; recipes will be compliant with the most current USDA nutrition standards.
  • F3 creates a three-year strategic plan to determine the pathways to school food improvements nationwide.

2014

From the Blog

Food Family Farming Officially Becomes Chef Ann Foundation

Executive Director, Mara Fleishman, Pays Tribute

Chef Ann changes lives...she changed mine. ​I met Ann Cooper in 2008 when she came to a meeting that I was a part of at the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD). There was a small group of concerned parents and...

From the Blog

Salad Bar Success at Brent Elementary

Reposted with permission: Nona EvansEven though summer has just started for the kids in the Washington, DC Public School system, one school is already thinking about fall! Brent Elementary, home to just over 300 K-5th graders, received a salad bar for...