Wednesday, December 15, 2010

School Food Project announces community-wide fundraising challenge to help BVSD schools

The School Food Project, a public-private partnership dedicated to healthier school meals throughout Boulder Valley School District, announced this week a community-wide fundraising challenge to continue the positive momentum the three-year long program has initiated to improve school food in every BVSD school. The campaign’s goal is to raise $250,000 by May 15, 2011. A $100,000 fundraising match is already committed by the local nonprofit, Luff Family Foundation. The fundraising efforts, entitled “Healthy Bodies = Healthy Minds” campaign, will be housed online at a special crowd-sourcing site found by visiting

Funds will support two projects that were already implemented in the current school year: completing the funding of the five new regional kitchens which make and distribute cooked-from-scratch meals and new green practices which replaced disposable serving items to 100 percent reusable plates, utensils, and trays in the cafeterias of all elementary schools plus one middle and one high school. To date, 50 percent of the funds necessary for these major improvements have been raised from community donations.

“We’ve made really good progress in our first 18 months of change,” said Chef Ann Cooper, BVSD director of nutrition services. “But we still have a lot of work to do to fulfill our goal of healthy, delicious food creating healthier bodies and minds for all BVSD school kids.”

Cooper, whose nonprofit, Food, Family, Farming (F3) foundation, just partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” Coalition, has a vision for healthy school food across the nation. She believes Boulder Valley is a major case study for other school districts to follow in their own transition from highly-processed and unhealthy food to wholesome, more appetizing made-from-scratch food.

“Boulder is a bellwether community for the nation on so many levels – especially healthy lifestyle. We need to continue to invest in improvements so we can fulfill our three-year plan for healthier school food throughout BVSD,” said Cooper.

Parents might consider giving the value of a week’s worth of school lunches to the School Food Project at $15, a month’s worth of lunches at $60 or a year’s worth of lunches at $500.

“Every donation helps us meet our goal, and allows for continued improvement,” said Robin Luff, chair for the School Food Project and a long time community activist for educational initiatives.

To date BVSD transitioned every meal from highly-processed heat and serve to made-from-scratch recipes using fresh ingredients from local sources when possible. Every school in BVSD has a healthy salad bar and all cafeterias now serve organic, rBGH-free milk in bulk. Unhealthy ingredients such as, trans-fats and other hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives and coloring agents, and pre-fried, processed foods, have been eliminated from the BVSD lunch menu.

Individuals and businesses interested in making a donation to School Food Project can visit

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About the School Food Project

Vision: All children of Boulder Valley School District will have daily access to fresh, flavorful and nutritious food made with wholesome and, when possible, local ingredients, so that every child may thrive.

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