Application Open for the Fifth Cohort of Get Schools Cooking
August 2, 2022
Nationwide Strategic Planning and Evaluation Grant for School Feeding Programs
BOULDER, Colo. – August 1, 2022 – (Newswire.com)
Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) is pleased to announce that the application for Get Schools Cooking (GSC) is open from August 1 to September 30, 2022. GSC is an intensive 3-year assessment and strategic planning grant that provides to school districts support transition from heat and serve to a home kitchen operating model.
The last few years have been exceptionally challenging, especially for school feeding. School feeding professionals continue to face immense challenges, including supply chain issues and staff shortages. GSC supports the ongoing efforts of school food operators feeding a generation of healthier children.
GSC is a nationally recognized program designed to guide districts through the process of becoming a self-contained, fresh meals program, focusing on CAF’s five key areas of operations: Food, Finance, Facilities, Human Resources and marketing. GSC is open to school districts across the country thanks to the generous support of partners, including the Whole Kids Foundation and the Rachael Ray Foundation.
“This is an opportunity for the districts to delve into all of their processes, programs, finances and management, with the aim of improving their system in general,” said chef Ann Cooper, founder of CAF and president of the board. . “Get Schools Cooking can transform a district and put it on the path to a full cooking program from scratch.”
The program kicks off in February 2023 with a workshop in Bellingham, WA, where food service directors and key team members from each district will participate in sessions with CAF Senior Director of Research and Evaluation, Anneliese Tanner, and the CAF Senior Director of School Food Operations, Brandy Dreibelbis, to show what change can take place by participating in the GSC program.
GSC participants receive an on-site assessment, strategic planning, and technical assistance. Past participants have reported positive changes to the menu and ingredients, including one district moving to ~60% of menu items cooked to order. Districts continue to phase out highly processed foods and introduce new recipes with whole fruits and vegetables. School kitchens are now equipped with salad bars, food processors, specialty ovens and more.
“I can’t tell you how informative, beneficial and invigorating this whole experience has been,” said Amber Watson of the Marysville Joint Unified School District (CA). “It has really made me a better manager and leader and I can see that my staff are happy with the changes I have implemented so far.”
Click here to learn more about GSC.
About the Chef Ann Foundation The Chef Ann Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to ensure that school food professionals have the resources, funding, and support they need to provide fresh, healthy, delicious, and cooked at the moment that support the health of children and our planet. . To date, the organization has reached more than 13,500 schools and 3.3 million children with healthy school programs. Learn more at chefannfoundation.org.