Chef Ann Foundation Launches School Food Institute to Scale Up Scratch Cooking

Chef Ann Foundation launches School Food Institute to scale up scratch cooking

We decided to meet school nutrition officials and school food activists where they work and live through the power of video and online education.

Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) announces today the launch of its School Food Institute (SFI), an online video course educational series that teaches school foodservice professionals and childhood nutrition advocates across the U.S how to transition to a scratch-cooking program. The program was created to increase accessibility to healthier school food by providing the in-depth training, operational skills and strategic vision necessary to make sustainable improvements in school food programs.

School Food Institute is leveraging technology and video to swiftly scale up a return to scratch cooking. While there are other online courses for school nutrition professionals, none solely focus on the importance of fresh ingredients and real cooking, or offer “Office Hours” with Chef Ann Cooper, founder of Chef Ann Foundation and national school food activist.

“We had to do this,” said Mara Fleishman, chief executive officer for Chef Ann Foundation. “Since we haven’t figured out how to clone Chef Ann Cooper, we chose a functional and interactive way to still reach all districts with a blueprint for positive change and access to Ann for support.”

School Food Institute’s coursework kicks off on Monday, Oct. 16 with eight professional development courses focused on key areas of school food operations, such as procurement, marketing and lunchroom education, human resources, finance, and recipe and menu development. Participants may choose to enroll in the entire series or individual courses best suited for their needs. All courses are in alignment with USDA Professional Standards’ learning objectives allowing course completion to satisfy annual training requirements for foodservice professionals.

“The School Food Institute training will be incredibly valuable to me and my leadership team as we transition our school meals away from processed foods,” said Rodney Taylor, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Fairfax County Public Schools in Springfield, Virginia.


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