Chef Ann Foundation

A nonprofit organization

Our vision is for all children to have access to fresh, healthy, delicious food providing them the foundation to thrive and meet their true potential.


"The Lunch Box has been a strong partner in our campaign to serve children real food. We utilize The Lunch Box for training materials and resources instead of trying to reinvent the wheel....The Lunch Box offers many resources needed to help facilitate these changes and to get the job begun."

- Chef Tim Cipriano, Executive Director of Food Services at New Haven Public Schools - where 80% of the children qualify for free and reduced-price school lunch

"There are students everywhere that are not getting the nutrition they need, and Project Produce [grants] offer a great way to get it to them! It was an awesome opportunity to provide students with new fruit and vegetable choices and to open their horizons to a variety of options rather than the apple or banana. Little gets thrown away anymore, and if one student doesn't eat their fruits or vegetables, then a student nearby is likely to eat it for them. The Chef Ann Foundation has been a blessing to our school district."

- Lisa Seiber, Director of Food Services, Trenton Special School District, TN

"100% our lunch entrees are from your site! I have appreciated being able to scale the recipes based on the number of students we are serving, as well as having the measure of all ingredients. I very much appreciate the breakdown of each recipe and the nutrition information. Your site made this project so much easier!"

- A food services employee from St. Louis, MO

"Evolving from our current production model of highly processed "heat, hold and serve" food to a fresh scratch cook model will require enormous changes. The School Food Support Initiative experience is invaluable in helping navigate our way through the process of opening the new scratch cooking central kitchen! Ultimately, through better quality school meals and teaching children how to be lifelong healthy eaters, the students of Bellingham Public Schools and the greater community will benefit the most from the experience gained through the School Food Support Initiative."

- Mark Dalton, Food Services Director, Bellingham Public Schools, WA

"I have used many of the recipes from The Lunch Box since starting Good Food for Oxford Schools. As we have begun our transition to a scratch cooked menu and have been bringing in more local foods - the Lunch Box has been our go-to for new recipes such as the roasted broccoli and roasted cauliflower. We needed many new entree options for our menus as well, and love the chicken potpie and stir frys. The recipes are in an easy format for our cafeteria managers to use - they especially love the way the calculator allows them to explode the recipe to a larger size!"

- Sunny Young, Projects Coordinator, Good Food for Oxford Schools and Farm to School Oxford School District -


The mission of the Chef Ann Foundation is to ensure school food professionals have the resources, funding and support they need to provide fresh, healthy, delicious, cook from scratch meals that support the health of children and our planet.

Background Statement

Our story begins with Chef Ann Cooper's vision of schools providing fresh, healthy, nutritious, real school food to all children, every day. Inspired by her culinary experiences and the rising rates of diet-related disease in school children, Chef Ann took action to create an organization that could help schools serve better food. And now we have Chef Ann Foundation (CAF), which helps school districts nationwide get the resources they need through grant programs and free online resources.

The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) provides school communities with the operational tools, training, programs, and resources that enable them to move away from serving highly-processed, ready-to-heat food toward more nutritious meals cooked from scratch using whole, fresh ingredients.

CAF provides school food professionals with the resources, funding and support they need to provide fresh, healthy, delicious, cook from scratch meals to support the health of children and our planet. To date, CAF’s programming has impacted the lives of over 3.4 million children in over 14,000 schools across the United States.

In 2020, the USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NLSP) provided 3.2 billion meals with 76.9% of them being part of the free and reduced-price lunch program. The food these students are served is often heavily processed and lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, leading to a myriad of long term nutritional and educational issues, such as diabetes and limited attention span. CAF strongly believes that school food represents one of the nation’s biggest opportunities to positively affect the nutrition and downstream health outcomes of children. With this belief, CAF supports the Healthy School Meals for All initiative to provide free nutritious school meals for all students.

Our core programs include:

• The Lunch Box provides the operational knowledge base for all of our work. Free to access and free to use, this online toolkit provides free step-by-step guides, tools, recipes and other resources to help schools improve their meal programs and convert to scratch-cooking.

• School Food Institute is a set of online video-based courses that provide professional development and comprehensive training on the key components of successful scratch-cook operations in schools.

• Healthy School Food Career Pathways is a pioneer program that includes learning experiences that are work-based to prepare individuals for employment opportunities in scratch-cook school food programs. The continuum of course work and learning experiences cultivate a pipeline from entry-level to school food leadership to create confident leaders in the school food industry.

CAF’s Implementation Grant programs provide schools with the tools and equipment needed to offer healthier, fresher meals in school:

• Salad Bars to Schools is a granting program launched in 2010 that provides schools and districts with salad bar equipment and support to increase daily access to fruits and vegetables.

• Get Schools Cooking is an intensive 3-year assessment and strategic planning program that provides school districts with the operational knowledge to transition from a heat & serve to scratch cook operational model.

• Bulk Milk is a granting program that provides bulk milk equipment to schools to reduce waste and support environmental sustainability through the provision of equipment, marketing materials, and technical assistance.

Organization Data


Organization name

Chef Ann Foundation

other names

CAF, Food Family Farming Foundation

Year Established



Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Organization Size

Large Organization


5485 Conestoga Court Suite 110F
Boulder, CO 80301

Service areas

Boulder County, CO, US



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