In 2018, school cafeterias served nearly 7.5 billion breakfasts and lunches, with over ¾ of those meals free or at a reduced price. That makes school food—an $18 billion industry—a system with great potential to nurture children’s health and wellness. Unfortunately, schools face persistent obstacles to providing the nourishing meals that foster whole-child development and ensure kids can show up at their desks well-nourished and ready to learn.
That’s why, in 2019, we launched reWorking Lunch. Convened by FoodCorps, Bain Capital Double Impact, and Forum for the Future, reWorking Lunch brings together leaders from the fields of school nutrition, the food industry, philanthropy, technology and the nonprofit sector, with the goal of reorienting the school food system toward new goals by building deeper connection, understanding, interaction, and collaboration across efforts.
A Cross-Sector Initiative for Healthy School Meals
Together, FoodCorps and reWorking Lunch partners are working toward a vision for healthy food in school in which:
“All students–regardless of race, place, or class–enjoy quality food in school, free from stigma and barriers to access. The food is delicious, appealing, seasonally and culturally relevant, and made from whole, nourishing ingredients. It is sourced and served in ways that support local economies, protect lands and waters, treat animals humanely, and uphold the dignity and health of farmers, food workers, and students themselves.”
Four distinct work streams will guide FoodCorps’ and reWorking Lunch partners’ actions over the next year and beyond. While each work stream takes on a different part of the school food system, they are also interconnected and designed to interact with one another.
- Education: Improving the connection between the people who operate school meals and those who operate academic programs
- Supply chains: Leveraging the power of our nation’s school districts to demand healthier school food products
- Leadership: Building a pipeline to recruit and train the next generation of school nutrition leaders
- Perception: Shifting the public narrative around what school food looks like today and what it might become
Learn more about the full initiative here.
To do any of this important work, we need to leverage collective expertise, power, and hunger for change from stakeholders across the system. Interested in getting involved with the work streams? We’d love to hear from you!
FoodCorps interviewed over 100 leaders from across the school food system to build a robust diagnosis of major opportunity areas for change, spanning production to consumption. The scale of the opportunity is huge.
Partners & Advisors
It’s impossible to do this work alone. The Anchor Partner and Advisor team consists of a select group of leading industry, philanthropic, nonprofit, and school district partners and advisors that support the design of reWorking Lunch and who will provide thought leadership over the course of the 18-month project.
Anchor Partners & Advisors
- Boston Public Schools
- Minneapolis Public Schools
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