Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) envisions a nation in which all children have access to fresh, healthy food at school to support childhood health, wellness, and achievement. Founded in 2009 by Chef Ann Cooper, a pioneer in the fields of school food reform and childhood nutrition, CAF believes the greatest impact can be had through changing school food. School is the one place where children should be guaranteed healthy, nourishing meals, and where real change in children's health can be made. More than 30 million children eat school lunch every day, 22 million of whom qualify for the free/reduced priced school meal program due to their household income. For many of these children, school food is their main source of calories and nutrition.
Our mission is to help schools transition from highly-processed, heat-and-serve food to scratch-cooked meals made with fresh, whole food that supports children's health and the health of the planet. CAF provides school communities with the tools, training, resources and funding that enables them to create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments. To date, we have directly impacted over 9,000 schools and more than 2.9 million children in all 50 states.
Our nation is facing a public health crisis. One in three children in this country are overweight or obese. Sadly, because of the prevalence of diet-related disease in kids, today’s children are predicted to die at younger ages than their parents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60% of children do not eat enough fruit to meet daily recommendations, and 93% of children don’t eat enough vegetables. These startling facts demand an urgent response and healthy change for kids in our country.