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WHAT IF??

What if we tried to educate and expose kids to more fresh fruits and veggies instead of assuming that they will never like them and then feeding them junk just so they will eat something? Hmmmmm…now that’s a thought.

The Chef Ann Foundation and Skoop have come together to help change that by introducing more fruits and veggies to students through Mission Nutrition $2,500 school grants.

The Background

Frustrated by the recent debate about healthy school lunch regulations and the lack of proactive, solution-oriented thinking, we started asking ourselves: What could we do to help increase consumption of fresh fruits and veggies in schools? We decided to look in our own backyard for answers.

Boulder is often made fun of for our health food-loving, Gortex-wearing, fitness-obsessed population. But if you want to connect with the best of the best in health and fitness, Boulder is where you look. So when Alex Bogusky and Greg Stroh launched Skoop a new powdered, whole foods-sourced, super nutrition company, we knew that their commitment to increasing access to the benefits of nutrient-dense foods would fit right in with our mission to help expose more kids to fresh fruits and veggies.

We met and explained the problem to Alex and Greg. We told them that together we wanted to create an opportunity to help support participation in and consumption of school lunch for schools wanting to serve healthier meals. We knew from experience in our own district here in Boulder that the more education and trial you have alongside your food program, the more buy-in you’ll get from the kids.

It didn’t take them but a minute to say, “We’re in.” They changed their entire business model to donate 10% of ALL sales to help this cause through a “Buy One, Give One” model. These guys are the definition of triple bottom line business. Amazing.

How it Works

The Mission Nutrition grant is pretty straightforward. Your school can apply here and if selected you will receive a grant for $2,500 to purchase fresh fruits and veggies. The produce needs to be distributed for free in some way to all students and needs to be accompanied by a lunchroom education component.

Schools can choose from the sampling/educational program ideas that we have on The
Lunch Box
, like Rainbow Days, or come up with their own programming.  We are excited to have schools share with us what works for them and their community. We will make sure to post the school program ideas so that eventually we will have a much larger section of activities for schools to choose from…with real feedback and outcomes from schools.

Looking to the Future

Is Mission Nutrition going to solve all of the school lunch issues that we are facing today? No, it’s not, but it is a step in the direction of change and progress, and most importantly—a step in the direction of helping schools find solutions to increase participation instead of a solution that rolls back progress and serves up less healthy choices.

The problems that we face with school lunch are not simple. Helping teach kids to crave lettuce over chips is a process, but we need to commit to it, and we need to fight to make it the norm. Taking the easy way out should no longer be an option. Help us take it off the table by supporting Skoop  and Mission Nutrition today!

*This post was reposted with permission of the Chef Ann Foundation. The original blog entry can be found here.

Healthy Eating

The Chef Ann Foundation (formerly Food Family Farming Foundation) was founded in 2009 by Ann Cooper, an internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children. Our mission is to provide tools that help schools serve children healthy and delicious scratch-cooked meals made with fresh, whole food. Today, the Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) carries out that vision by actively supporting school districts nationwide through grant programs and by providing tried and tested tools for school food change.