While The Lunch Box is a tool designed to help school food professionals create healthy and delicious scratch-cooked meals, school children are the ones who really benefit.
Since the launch of the new and improved Lunch Box this past September, over 856 school users have registered on The Lunch Box, representing 523 school districts from 47 states. These school food service professionals and administrators are accessing and downloading everything from recipes and menu cycles to assessment tools and breakfast calendars in order to change the way they feed our nation's children.This means tens of thousands of students all over the country are benefiting from healthier school food programs.
It's a tough job, and the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) provides not only the tools, but also the support and training to help schools use the tools. This spring, CAF offered three webinars to school food service professionals to help them maximize the tools and resources available on The Lunch Box. So far, 76 people have attended Lunch Box webinars, and CAF will continue offering them in the fall.
Thank you for supporting CAF and The Lunch Box! To learn more about ways that you can support healthy school food for all children, check out our Do One Thing campaign. No one can do everything, but everyone can do one thing!
Thank you for supporting the Lunch Box Expansion Project!
We're proud to report that The Lunch Box is helping hundreds of school districts across the country serve healthy, scratch-cooked meals to students. Since the launch of the updated and expanded Lunch Box in September, 2014, over 1,050 people have become registered users. Of those, 357 are school food professionals or school staff. Other registrants include parents; local, state and government representatives; school food advocates; and other nonprofit colleagues who are working hard to change the landscape of school food.
They are using the free Lunch Box tools and resources to make changes to their school nutrition programs. We have over 200 healthy, scalable, UDSA-compliant school food recipes available for download, along with dozens of financial, management, and marketing tools. Users have downloaded Lunch Box resources over 4,500 times!
Perhaps they want a guide for setting up their salad bar or a sign to advertise their daily salad bar menu. Maybe they are looking for a healthy beef and broccoli stir fry recipe or a template to help them project their food costs. These and hundreds of other tools and recipes are helping school districts transition to scratch-cooking, salad bars, and other small- and large-scale changes that result in delicious, healthy school meals for kids!
We want every school food professional in the country to know about the free resources available to them. One way that we're spreading the word is through free webinars. Our training webinars take school food staff inside The Lunch Box via a guided video tour that shows them how to navigate the site and use our most popular tool: the recipe database.
Our next scheduled webinars are on April 14 and May 21, and you can help us by sharing the Lunch Box Webinars with your school district's director of nutrition services. School food is hard work, and we're here to help anyone who is committed to healthy meals for all students!
You can stay up to date on all of the Chef Ann Foundation's programs and projects by signing up for our newsletters.
Yours in the school food fight,
As 2014 comes to a close, we are so thankful to all of our supporters who share the Chef Ann Foundation’s belief that healthy food will build a healthy future.
The generosity of GlobalGiving donors, stirred in with their enthusiasm for our mission, has helped us to serve up an amazing school food resource to school districts nationwide: The Lunch Box: The Next Generation.
The new site launched on September 17, and school food professionals are responding enthusiastically! Here’s what some of them have to say:
“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…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
“I can't thank you enough!...I am so grateful that you put this out into the world so that small districts like Burlington can succeed with scratch cooking and real food in the realm of USDA regulations. We all can't thank you enough…it is a blessing!!”
-Shellie Kark, LiveWell Chef Consultant, Burlington School District
"With so many food service professionals working hard to meet the new USDA nutrition requirements, it's great to have resources like the Lunch Box that can help provide kid-tested menus that schools can use. This is the type of professional support all schools need."
- Rochelle Davis, President + CEO, Healthy Schools Campaign
Thank you for such a great resource!! We are a smaller Research and Development School in Northern Iowa and have completely overhauled our lunch program 2 years ago. I am anxious to add some of your recipes that I think the kids would love.”
-Rob Pruitt, GrassRoots Café
Thank you for making a healthy difference in the lives of school kids across the country with your support of the Lunch Box Expansion Project!
Be sure to stay tuned as we expand our impact by reaching out to school food professionals with education and training!
Thank you so much for your support of The Lunch Box Expansion Project! I'm happy to report that the updated and expanded version of our interactive toolbox for school food change went live this morning!
I encourage you to take a few moments to visit the new Lunch Box site to see all the new and improved tools available to school food service directors to help them transition to healthier school meals.
At the same time, we've launched the new Chef Ann Foundation website! You'll find new resources for parents, information about our programs, videos and other multimedia, and great ways to get involved in school foood in your community.
Stay tuned for updates! We're not done making The Lunch Box the premiere tool for school food change, and we'll be sure to share what's new.
The newly expanded and revised Lunch Box will be launching later this month, and not a day too early!
It's back-to-school season, and this year is pivotal for school food. The USDA has made great strides in creating new guidelines to ensure that every child in this country has access to healthy food in school. However, current legislative battles at the federal level will determine if we take steps forward or backward.
The Chef Ann Foundation created The Lunch Box to ensure continued improvements in school nutrition regardless of federal flip-flopping, and the new version provides tools, guides and resources that schools need today!
We'll have entirely new sections on Procurement, Management, and Marketing: three areas in which school districts are growing and changing. We'll have complete step-by-step guides for implementing alternative school breakfast and salad bar programs. School food staff can use our menu cycle planners to easily create USDA-compliant menus. They can also choose from over 195 healthy, kid-tested recipes that will automatically "explode" to the size and type of student population.
Site users can "Ask Ann" their school food questions, and the "Lunch Line" blog will provide news they can use. School food professionals can also access grant opportunities available from the Chef Ann Foundation, and sign up for the Lunch Box newsletter for updates on school food resources.
We'll be sure to notify you as soon as the new site goes live, so please keep an eye out for our next announcement...coming soon!
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