School Food Transformation

Our primary grants and programs are proven ways to advance access to healthy food choices and build direct connections between kids and the roots of their food. Each salad bar or garden that a school adds is a building block towards reinventing school food.

Our Approach

  1. Collaboration. Whole Kids is built on a spirit of collaboration, and since day one, we have been joining forces with others who share our passion. We act as a catalyst by investing in partnerships and opportunities that set the stage for deep, lasting change. By working with innovative school food leaders across the U.S., we connect with the right experts and resources so that collectively, we can amplify each other’s efforts.
  2. Scratch Cooking. Scratch cooking is real food made with real ingredients. When schools transition from processed (heat-and-serve) foods to cooking their own meals made with fresh ingredients, they can provide students with the nutrition needed for educational success, health and wellbeing. We’ve partnered with ScratchWorks, a collective of school food professionals and nonprofit organizations committed to supporting school districts scratch cook school meals.
  3. Leadership Development. In order to sustain systemic change, healthy advocates are needed not only in the school cafeterias but in classrooms too. School staff with knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating can be stronger role models for students and better advocate for school wellness policies. Our online and in-person Healthy Teachers Program is a free two-hour nutrition and cooking class designed to transform teacher and staff wellbeing.
  4. Plant-Based Meals. We champion meals where vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes are the primary ingredients because they help kids eat closer to nature and cultivate lifelong healthy eating habits. Motivated by the health and environmental benefits of plant-based meals, we are active participants in the global dialogue to increase the demand for and availability of more plants in school meals. Dig in.

Get Schools Cooking Grant

Whole Kids Foundation has joined forces with Chef Ann Foundation for the Get School Cooking Grant, which supports small- and medium-sized school districts in the U.S. working to transform their food service programs from processed foods to scratch-cooked meals. The comprehensive, multi-year program addresses five key areas of school food operations: food, finance, facilities, human resources and marketing and includes a grant to help districts facilitate these recommendations.

School Food Professionals: Get Support

Transitioning to scratch cooking? Check out Chef Ann Foundation’s The Lunch Box, the largest online resource for scratch cooking in schools and features step-by-step guides, management tools, recipes and menus, and other resources to help schools improve their meal programs.

Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship

We're honored to be a founding partner, along with the state of CA, of the first ever scratch-cooked school food focused Fellowship being launched by our friends at the Chef Ann Foundation. The Healthy School Food Pathway Fellowship is the first of its kind and will support the next generation of diverse leaders in school food.

Parents: Take Action

Get educated, get organized and get started with this Parent Advocacy Toolkit featuring tools and resources designed to guide parents advocating for healthier school food in their communities.

Additional Resources for Change