Nearly 11,500 students in the Tempe Elementary School District will benefit from a recent $180,000 grant to help all students receive fresh, scratch-cooked, healthy meals at school by transforming school food operations in Tempe.
The three-year grant, known as School Food Support Initiative (SFSI) program, funded by the Life Time Foundation and in partnership with the Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, provides the Tempe Elementary School District with direct support from Chefs Ann Cooper and Beth Collins, as well as fellow school food service experts, to ensure all ingredients offered on Tempe’s school menu are of the highest quality standards.
The SFSI program includes on-site assessment of the district’s current operations; a systems assistance grant for equipment or other school food program needs; technical assistance; and strategic planning to provide healthier school meals.
“We are thrilled to receive this much-needed grant as a means accelerate our initiatives to offer even more wholesome and healthier options for our students, said Tempe Elementary Nutrition Services Supervisor Emma Kitzman.” We are focused on reducing artificial and processed ingredients from our menu, adding salad bars to our elementary schools, and preparing bulk produce in our central kitchen facility. This experience has far exceeded our expectations and we are confident that our students will benefit greatly.”
Tempe is one member of a cohort of seven districts throughout the United States working to innovate and improve their school food choices through SFSI. Cohort districts learn from their common experiences while working to eliminate artificial ingredients as they transition to cook-from-scratch school food operations.
Life Time Foundation is a public charity founded by Life Time®, the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand. Life Time operates five athletic resorts in the greater Tempe and Phoenix region.
Since 2010, the Life Time Foundation has been on a mission to partner with school districts to eliminate processed, artificial, and unhealthy food and ingredients from being served to children.
Since then, the Life Time Foundation has provided more than 37 million healthy meals across the nation – and counting – including partnering with school districts across the nation through SFSI to help eliminate processed and artificial ingredients from school meals in favor of wholesome, real foods.
About Life Time FoundationSM:
As a public charity created by Life Time®, the Life Time Foundation is on a mission to help schools eliminate the Harmful 7SM from the food they serve so every child receives the healthy food they deserve. This simple, actionable and sustainable plan allows schools to eliminate highly processed and artificial foods in favor of wholesome, real food alternatives. Unlike many other charitable organizations in which a portion of donations is consumed by administrative costs, 100% of every dollar donated to the Life Time Foundation directly supports its mission because all administrative costs are contributed by Life Time, Inc. For more information, visit www.ltfoundation.org.
About School Food Support Initiative:
The School Food Support Initiative (SFSI) is a Life Time Foundation program in partnership with Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, with support from The Gateway Fund. SFSI works to provide not only financial assistance, but also procurement, management, education, and staffing assessments and assistance. SFSI provides school districts with the needed guidance to overcome their toughest food challenges.
About Chef Ann Foundation:
Chef Ann Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2009 by Ann Cooper, an internationally recognized Chef, author, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children, with the mission “to provide school communities with the tools, training, resources, and funding that enables them to create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments.”
About Tempe Elementary School District:
The Tempe Elementary School District is composed of 22 elementary, middle, K-8, and specialty schools in Tempe, Arizona. There are many programs available to meet the diverse needs of Tempe Elementary School District children and their families.
Currently serving approximately 12,000 students, the Tempe Elementary School District is composed of 16 Title I schools offering support programs to families such as free and reduced lunch; outstanding preschool opportunities; a specialty Montessori school; exceptional K-5 experiences in excelling schools; a plethora of learning environments for middle school students such as Fees College Preparatory Middle School, a STEM school focusing on individualized learning for all students; Connolly Middle School, a National AVID Demonstration school also housing ASPIRE Academy, home of our most academically gifted middle school students; Ward Traditional K-8 Academy; Laird K-8 neighborhood school also focusing on AVID; Gililland Middle School, offering one-to-one computing for all students; and Tempe Academy of International Studies, an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School.
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