Get Schools Cooking Grant

The Get School Cooking Grant was created to support medium-sized school districts who are eager to transform their school lunch programs from processed foods to scratch-cooked meals.


Consultation and Monetary Grant


School districts in the U.S. with at least 3,000 students

Grant Value


About the Program

Get Schools Cooking 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. In addition, the guidelines implemented through this program support scratch cooking that is healthier and more nutritious than serving processed foods.

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Application Opened

January 19, 2018

Application Closed

March 1, 2018

Review Period

Summer 2018

Notification to All Applicants

Month XX, 2018

Participating Districts

  • Goleta Union School District, Goleta, CA
  • Caroline County Public Schools, Denton, MD
  • Marysville Joint Unified School District, Marysville, CA
  • Napa Valley Unified School District, Napa, CA
  • 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)
  • 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 by meeting program goals. For
example, they are working to eliminate specified ingredients from the foods they serve 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.”