Beta Website Targets School Cafeteria Transformation

Beta Website Targets School Cafeteria Transformation

Food & Drink

Beta Website Targets School Cafeteria Transformation

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By Cari Martens

A new website, thelunchbox.org, calls itself a ‘toolbox for transforming your school lunchroom!’ Its goal is to offer practical resources to make it easier to make great wholesome food to keep school kids fueled for learning and living.

The site asks readers to ‘Join the School Lunch Revolution!’

The Lunch Box is currently in beta mode. Those behind The Lunch Box say it is more than a site; it’s about people connecting with each other and building a movement to change the way we feed our kids. The site demo is initially being used for focus group testing with key audiences: school food service, advocates, and funders.

When fully functional, they say, The Lunch Box will provide the multi-faceted approach necessary to transition any processed food-based K-12 school meal program to a whole foods environment where food is procured regionally and prepared from scratch for the student population.

An all-in-one resource for improving school nutrition

The Lunch Box group aims to be a free resource to provide the essential tools for examining, learning about, and implementing this type of healthy meal program. It wants to offer a ‘complete menu of choices for those seeking to implement program change in their schools and districts.’

Today the site offers 80 healthy, balanced recipes suitable for school foodservice, geared to feed 100 school children. In the future, the site hopes to be a one-stop shop with hundreds of kid-tested recipes, all nutritionally analyzed, priced and scalable, plus it plans to offer how-to videos, photos and manuals. The Lunch Box will even provide menus and production records to help districts stay compliant with the National School Lunch Program.

The Visionary: Chef Ann Cooper

The people behind The Lunch Box include chef and blogger Ann Cooper, aka ‘The Renegade Lunch Lady,’ whose vision has guided the project from its inception. Other supporters are Whole Foods Market and the W.K. Kellogg Foundations’ Food and Society initiative, which provided a planning grant that is administered by the Chez Panisse Foundation. Other program partners are The Colorado Health Foundation, Orfalea Foundations, and the Children’s Health Foundation.

This looks like a completely worthwhile, ambitious endeavor. If you’re interested, you may want to find out if your school district’s foodservice administrators are aware of this project. For more information, you may visit thelunchbox.org.

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