Whole Kids Foundation has joined forces with The Life Time Foundation and Chef Ann Foundation to provide support for this journey through technical assistance grants.

School Food Support Initiative will work with the selected districts through a technical assistance program that includes a workshop for food service directors, on-site assessment and on-site assessment debrief and strategic planning, along with peer-to-peer collaboration and access to a food service program Assistance Grant.

The program has a value of nearly $200,000 per participating district (depending on district size).

Why is it important?

Serving children scratch-cooked meals allows districts to offer healthy and delicious breakfast and lunch, but it’s not always an easy task—there are financial, procurement, management, education, and staffing hurdles to jump over. Oftentimes, school districts need the guidance from school food experts to overcome these challenges.

According to a recent Pew study, directors whose school food programs prepared more foods from scratch and increased the use of salad bars were more likely to report that student participation rose. And the SFSI guidelines support scratch cooking that is far healthier and more nutritious than processed foods.

Participating Districts

The school districts that applied had to disclose all aspects of their operations and demonstrate to the review committee through their application and interview that they are ready for change.

2017 Recipients

  • Brewster Central School District (Brewster, NY)
  • Fridley Public Schools (Fridley, MN)
  • Norwood City School District (Norwood, OH)
  • Ocean View School District (Oxnard, CA)
  • Oxford School District (Oxford, MS)
  • Staunton City Schools (Staunton, VA)
  • Tempe Elementary School District (Tempe, AZ)

2016 Recipients

  • Bellingham Public Schools (Bellingham, WA)
  • Buford City Schools (Buford City, GA)
  • Passaic School District (Passaic, NJ)
  • Watertown Public Schools (Watertown, MA)

These school districts have begun implementing the recommendations from their on-site assessments, and are in the midst of transitioning to healthier, scratch-cooked school food and meeting program goals of eliminating the specified ingredients, including trans fats & hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, hormones and antibiotics, processed and artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors, artificial preservatives and bleached flour.

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