Founded to address the disconnect between rising rates of childhood obesity and the quality of school food, RFFK collaborates with school districts to increase scratch cooking. Education programs such as Fresh Food Explorers increase vegetable consumption among low-income preschoolers. The Chef Exchange Program pairs school nutritionists with professional chefs to collaborate on new approaches to healthy school food while the Culinary Challenge tasks middle and high schoolers to do the same. Chefs Feeding Families, launched with the hospitality industry, provides plant-forward meal kits to families facing nutrition insecurity while creating employment opportunities in the restaurant community. SNAP Ambassadors trains key community members to support eligible residents in the securing of benefits for their families. Imagine a food landscape that supports individuals and families as they seek to nourish themselves for optimal health. Then meet Real Food for Kids.
Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County
Where They Operate: MD-Montgomery County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-Loudoun County; VA-Prince William County; VA-City of Alexandria
Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)
Population(s) Served: Students
Schools They Work In: We currently work with schools throughout Northern Virginia as well as schools in Montgomery County, MD.
- Children covered by Real Food for Kids advocacy to remove 91% of artificial ingredients from Fairfax County Public Schools:
190,000 (2018-2019 projected)
- Elementary school students currently served by Real Food for Kids Salad Bars:
18,000 as of school year 2017-2018 (This number will increase by approximately 18,000 per year through 2021)
- Number of Title I students who have participated in our annual Food Day event:
- Cafeteria managers trained through our Chef Academy:
- Metro DC school officials, school board members, and community stakeholders in RFFK's Lunch Room Collective:
Awards & Recognition
2018 and 2017: Finalist for Community Partner of the Year, Fairfax County Public Schools
2017: Business and Industry Award, Virginia Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences
2014: Recognized by the Fairfax County School Board for Advocacy Work on School Meal Programs (JoAnne Hammermaster, Co-Founder)
2014: Recognized by the National PTA for Advocacy Work on School Meal Programs
2014: Lady Fairfax Award (Mary Porter, Director of Programs)
2014: Invited to speak at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama to recognize the launch of new Smart Snack Guidelines for schools
- Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge shapes school lunch menus
Tue May 29 2018, Northern Virginia Magazine
A recipe developed by high schoolers will be implemented on lunch menus at school divisions in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
- Charities Fight Youth Obesity with a Helping of Fresh Produce and Education
Thu Nov 30 2017, Loudoun Now
Program provides low-income families with fruits and vegetables, and pairs them with cooking classes and nutrition lessons.
- Big On Salad and Healthy Eating in Herndon
Tue Oct 31 2017, Connection Newspapers
Food Day celebration at Herndon Elementary makes learning about healthy food fun for kids and reinforces a culture of health at schools.
- Regional effort aims to change perception of school lunches
Sat Sep 2 2017, Inside NOVA
The Lunch Room Collective connects partners in education, agriculture, non-profit and policy-making to ensure healthy meals in area schools.
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