Franklin Special School District selected for grant program to improve school meals

Franklin Special School District was selected to participate in a grant program to improve school lunches. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Franklin Special School District was selected to participate in a grant program to improve school lunches. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Franklin Special School District was selected to participate in a grant program to improve school lunches. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Officials with the Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation announced in mid-February that Franklin Special School District has been named one of five schools in the nation to be a part of Get Schools Cooking, a three-year grant program designed to improve school lunch programs.

The program is intended to transition lunch programs away from highly processed for to more nutritious, from-scratch foods. The district will receive $35,000 in funding for equipment and software to help improve several aspects of the lunch program, according to CAF.


“This is an opportunity for districts to take a ‘deep-dive’ in to all of their processes, programs, finances and management, with the goal of overall improvement of their system,” said Ann Cooper, CAF founder and board president, in a release. “Get Schools Cooking can transform a district and set them on the path towards a fully scratch-cook program.”

According to CAF, over the next 18 months, the district will go through an evaluation of its existing meal program to find recommendations for improvements as well as an overall report. Previous participants in the program have reported positive menu changes, including using whole fruits and vegetables and eliminating highly processed foods, according to the release.

“We are excited about the opportunity that the Get Schools Cooking grant will provide for us to look objectively at every aspect of our program and to help us develop a plan as we move to increase the amount of scratch cooking our schools provide,” FSSD Child Nutrition Supervisor Robbin Cross said in a statement. “The ultimate goal is for our students to have healthy options with fresh, locally grown food prepared in our own kitchens by a knowledgeable staff. We know the Chef Ann Foundation will help us achieve this goal.”
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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