Mission and History

The mission of The Lunch Box is to provide school district administrators, food service directors, and their teams with the tools and resources they need to serve healthy, delicious, scratch-cooked food to every student, every day.


The A-Ha Moment!

In the early 2000’s, Chef Ann Cooper and her school food colleagues began sharing their experiences and knowledge about how to transform school lunch from processed, heat-and-serve meals to healthy, tasty meals. Chef Ann envisioned a system change initiative that would include all of the tools necessary for schools to make school meals healthier.

Early Development

By 2007, Chef Ann secured funding to develop what would become The Lunch Box. The Lunch Box 1.0 was officially launched in 2010 just one year after the Chef Ann Foundation (then Food Family Farming) was founded.

Ongoing Efforts

Since the creation of The Lunch Box, we’ve added video tutorials, numerous new USDA-compliant recipes, Farm to School resources and much more. We’ve also launched the More Plants Please! Initiative and created the School Food Institute - a set of online courses built around the content found on The Lunch Box.

Vision for the Future

The Lunch Box will continue to be a source of relevant, high-quality, and school-tested resources for school food change.

Talking About School Food with Chef Ann

Chef Ann Cooper and other notable school food reform advocates discuss the importance of healthy school food for kids.

From the Blog

The Lunch Box: Next Generation

Welcome back to The Lunch Box

You may have noticed that we’ve made a few changes…OK we’ve made many BIG changes. It is with great excitement that we move into the future with a new website, a new look, and most importantly, new ways to support schools...


Visit our Press Center for helpful links to information about who we are, what we do, and our School Food Fact Sheet.

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 Thank you to the Life Time Foundation for ensuring that all schools have free acces to The Lunch Box tools and resources!

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