Chef Ann Foundation (Boulder, CO)


  • Name:Emily Miller
  • Title:Marketing and Education Manager

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Chef Ann Foundation
  • Address:3550 Frontier Ave, A2
    Boulder, CO 80301
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:303-330-6484

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • The Chef Ann Foundation's mission is to protect children's health and the health of our planet by helping schools across the country transition from highly-processed, pre-packaged food to scratch-cooked school meals made with real, fresh ingredients. Our vision is a nation in which every child in every school has access to fresh, nutritious food every day.

  • Overview:
  • Close to 16 million children in this country live in food insecure households with compromised access to nourishing food. Food deserts and prohibitive food costs often mean that families have difficulty feeding their children nutritious meals, relying instead on fast food and heavily-processed, factory-produced food.

    Poor children are also more likely to be obese, not from overeating, but from eating poor-quality, inexpensive food loaded with fat, salt, and sugar. Over one-third of children in the U.S. are overweight, and school-aged children (6-18) are experiencing obesity rates between 18% and 21%.

    In 2010, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act instituted much-needed reforms of school food standards to improve the nutritional quality of the meals and snacks children eat at school. However, under the USDA school food guidelines, schools can continue to serve the pre-packaged, ready-to-heat food that they have come to depend on. Frozen chicken nuggets are now whole-wheat-breaded frozen chicken nuggets. While more nutritious, today's processed school food continues to promote poor eating habits among our children. And not only are obese children more like to become obese adults, their continued dependence on processed food will also develop into consumer practices that do little to support healthy food systems.

    Over 30 million children eat school lunch every day, and 71.6% are low income, qualifying for free and reduced-price (F/R) school meals. Over 13 million children eat school breakfast each day, and over 85% of them are low income. That's over 43 million meals each day, the vast majority of which are consumed by children who face obstacles in accessing fresh, healthy food. The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) wants to make each of those 43 million daily meals healthy, delicious - and to greatest extent possible - sustainable by helping schools across the country transition to on-site, scratch cooking with real food.

    We help schools transition to local procurement and responsibly-raised meat and poultry. We show school food service professionals how to develop productive relationships with local food producers. Our grant programs help them incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables and scratch cooking into their nutrition programs. Most importantly, we help schools serve their students healthy school food that nourishes their bodies, minds, and futures.

    Our seven programs focus on:
    1) Making salad bars a daily part of school food programs
    2) Providing school food service staff with the tools and resources they need to create healthy, successful, and sustainable food program
    3) Ensuring that all children have a healthy breakfast at the start of the school day
    4) Increasing students' exposure to fresh produce by incorporating fruit and vegetable tastings in lunchroom education activities
    5) Providing support to parents in their own community advocacy efforts
    6) Helping districts transform their kitchens and cafeterias to support on-site scratch cooking
    7) Providing in-depth, intensive technical assistance, assessment and strategic planning to districts ready to transform their nutrition programs.

    To date, we’ve reached 5,162 schools and over 2,254,440 children with programs that provide schools with tools, resources, equipment and funding to transition to fresh produce and scratch cooking.

  • History:
  • The Chef Ann Foundation (formerly Food Family Farming Foundation) was founded in 2009 by Chef Ann Cooper, a pioneering leader in the fields of school food, childhood nutrition, and sustainable agriculture. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Ann has over 30 years of experience as a chef, including more than 15 years in school food programs. Her books Bitter Harvest and Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children have made her a leading advocate for safe, sustainable food. To raise further awareness about the value of healthy food systems, Chef Ann has held several advisory positions, including:
    - Fellow, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Society Policy
    - Board member, USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (by congressional appointment)
    - Member, Google Innovation Lab for Food Experiences
    - President, American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont
    - Advisory Board Member, Real Food for Kids
    Chef Ann has also been honored by the National Resources Defense Council and awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY Cobleskill for her work on sustainable agriculture, and received IACP’s 2012 Humanitarian of the Year award.

    In 2009, Ann was working (and continues to work) as the Director of Nutrition Services for Boulder Valley School District and wanted to speed up the national rate of school food change. She had previously worked for The Ross School and New York City Schools in New York, and Berkeley Unified School District in California. She was frustrated by the slow rate of change working district by district. She envisioned a resource that would enable her to share tools with every school district in the country for free. That vision has grown into seven programs to accomplish CAF's goals.

    In 2010, Ann's vision became a reality with The Lunch Box, an online platform of comprehensive tools and resources that school food professionals can use to make changes to their food programs. The Lunch Box includes sections on "Responsibly-Raised Meat and Poultry" and "Local and Regional Procurement," two areas in which school kitchens can contribute to healthy food systems.

    That same year,Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) was founded by Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) in partnership with the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Produce Association Foundation, and Whole Foods Market in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools ensures children have daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables by proving schools with the equipment and technical support to establish daily salad bar programs. We also provide schools with guidance regarding local procurement for their salad bars to help contribute to local, sustainable agriculture.

    In 2011, CAF established Healthy Breakfast for Kids, our second grant program that provides schools with funds to establish universal, after-the-bell breakfast programs to ensure that all children start their school day properly nourished and ready to learn.

    In 2014, we launched three new programs:
    - Project Produce is a grant program that helps schools incorporate fresh fruit and vegetable tastings into nutrition education activities. Schools are encouraged to purchase their produce locally when possible.
    - The Parent Advocacy Toolkit provides parents with a step-by-step guide to grassroots school reform advocacy
    - Get Schools Cooking helps school districts transition away from ready-to-heat operations to scratch-cook operations with grants up to $20,000 to purchase depreciable equipment for cafeterias and kitchens.

    This year, in our sixth year of operations, CAF is launching the School Food Support Initiative, which is designed to help school districts create healthier, more sustainable food through integrated support services. The program offers districts a one and half-day orientation workshop, a three-day onsite CAF visit to provide an assessment and technical support, a written report outlining recommendations, and on-site strategic planning session, 20 hours of off-site follow-up support, and grant funding for equipment purchases.

    As we move forward, we hope to develop a Green Cafeteria program, which will center on eliminating styrofoam trays and plates in school cafeterias.

  • Year established:2009
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:10
  • Advisory board size:6
  • Staff size:6


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID: