Chefs in Schools

Chefs in Schools works to improve the quality of school meals in low-income school districts

Improving the quality of school meals in low-income school districts

Healthy school food matters

For children growing up in a low-income household, school meals are a major part of their daily nutrition. In fact, the food served in schools makes up half of the daily calories for more than 400,000 students in Massachusetts. It has a significant impact on their health, behavior, and their academic performance. That’s why Project Bread is committed to improving the quality of school food in low-income school districts across Massachusetts. With a Chefs in Schools intervention, we’ve proven that even with a school’s limited resources and budget, it is possible to prepare appealing, healthy meals that kids will not only eat, but also enjoy.

Our Approach

Schools have a unique opportunity to prevent children from experiencing hunger and malnutrition. There is no better access point to ensure children’s nutritional needs are being met. Despite progress, school food remains saturated with highly processed and pre-cooked foods. Since 2006, Project Bread’s Chefs in Schools program has been working with schools to put scratch-cooked meals back on the menu so children (and especially low-income children) are receiving the nutrition they need during critical years of child development:

Impact of our work: 2015-2017

Our Work: 2018/19 School Year 

    Project Bread is partnered with five MA school districts this year to implement district-wide changes to improve the quality of their school meals:

    • Amherst
    • Athol
    • Greenfield 
    • Lawrence
    • New Bedford 
    • Codman Academy (Dorchester)

    For school food service staff or parents and community members looking to make healthy changes to your school or districts breakfast and lunch programs, visit for Chefs in Schools recipes and resources.