Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Revolution in School Cafeterias

Revolution Foods is making its mark in school cafeterias across the country. School lunches have had a well-earned, legendary reputation for barely being edible and barely resembling actual food. Revolution Foods is changing the way our schools do hot lunches, by making them tasty, nutritious, and easy.

How did Revolution Foods begin?

Revolution Foods began with a founding team who believed that all students should have access to healthy, fresh food and nutrition education on a daily basis. Co-founders Kristin Richmond and Kirsten Tobey met at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and shared a vision of creating a social venture that would make their idea a daily reality for schools nationwide. It didn’t hurt that they both loved great food as well!

Having a background in education themselves, Kristen and Kirsten knew that in order for this venture to be successful they needed to reach out those that matter most: the school communities that they would serve, interviewing teachers, students, families and school leaders from over 40 Bay Area schools. They built a key partnership with Whole Foods who believed in their mission of getting as much fresh, healthy food as they could to as many students as possible. Prior to launching they also had the incredible fortune to meet their first hire, Executive Chef and partner extraordinaire, Amy Klein.

Driven by passion and supported by their families, friends and greater Bay Area community, Kristin and Kirsten launched Revolution Foods in the Summer of 2006.

How are your lunches better than the standard hot lunches found in schools across the country?

Revolution Foods prides itself on its high food quality standards, and this is one piece of what makes our meals and our lunch program unique. We also have a comprehensive nutrition education program. In terms of food standards, our partnership with Whole Foods helps us gain access to the highest quality ingredients available, that we can then use to create meals that are student favorites. Here’s a little bit about our lunches:
• Every lunch is served with fresh fruit and vegetables
• Our meats, baked goods and produce meet Whole Foods Market’s stringent quality standards
• Our milk is rBST- and hormone-free and our meats are hormone- and antibiotic-free
• Our food is prepared fresh daily; we do not serve fried or overly processed food
• Our meals do not contain high-fructose corn syrup or trans fat
• We use organic and locally produced ingredients whenever possible

We highly value the input from our students, school partners, administrators, and parents. Each school site has a dedicated School Account Manager who visits regularly, eats lunch with students, and gathers their feedback about the lunches. The relationships that School Account Managers build with students and schools are a unique component of our lunch program.

How many schools do you serve?

Revolution Foods serves over 120 schools and programs in the California, and has recently launched in Denver and Washington D.C., totaling over 160 schools throughout the United States.

What kinds of foods do you offer?

We offer a wide range of menu options. A few sample Revolution Foods menus include:
• All Natural Grilled Chicken with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce and Sesame Stir-Fried Bok Choy, Red Peppers and Carrots served atop a Fresh Noodle Nest, served with a Clementine orange
• All Natural Honey Glazed Chicken served with Roasted New Potatoes and Collard Greens served with a local peach.

Other popular items include Handmade Chicken Tamales, All Natural Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Caesar Salad, and All Natural Hamburger with Organic Cheese on a Whole Wheat Bun. All meals are served with fresh fruit and vegetables and a carton of all natural, hormone free, rBST free low fat milk. Many of our most popular items came from student suggestions.

I see you have a program for packed lunches too. What do you offer those students?

In addition to our home style, fresh meal platform for schools, we have a delicious retail line of 100% organic snack foods sold in Whole Foods Market, Toys r Us, Babies r Us, HEB,, and more. A percentage of the revenues of this line are used to fund our healthy meal program in low income schools.

How do you balance nutrition with good taste?

We have always started with high quality, fresh, all natural ingredients and used feedback from our school communities to craft our menus. This student focused menu design coupled with the fact that we adhere to stringent food standards and our meals meet the USDA recommended portion sizes and nutritional guidelines for the age groups we serve helps us accomplish our mission of balancing nutrition with good taste.

How do you educate parents, students and school staff on nutrition?

Another integral part of our lunch program is nutrition education. We believe it is important to inform students, families, and schools on how to make healthy choices both inside and outside of the lunchroom. We provide students, schools and parents with written materials as well as lessons and activities at school sites that focus on nutrition and healthy eating.

Because you cook the foods made daily in your own kitchen, how can this save a school district or organization in the long run? Do they save on kitchen costs?

This healthy meal program is ideal for schools that do not have the facilities or infrastructure to prepare fresh, home style meals. We custom design a plan for schools and districts that makes sense for them based on their vision for a health and wellness platform and the resources they currently have in house.

Do you serve the elderly community and other organizations beyond schools?

Although we primarily serve schools, we also serve summer camps, after school programs, recreational centers and non-profit organizations. We are able to touch even more organizations through our catering services.

How can a school get Revolution Foods in their lunch rooms?

We are always eager to include more schools in this School Lunch Revolution. You can get in contact with us by emailing . You can also check us out on the web at


  1. I think it's very interesting that Odyssey offers lunches by Revolution Foods, but Westerly does not, even though they both share the same facility. I think it is the difference between charter and "regular" school...

  2. I think it is necessary to revolution food of cafeteria and hostel. Because I read manytimes in newspaper that 10 people are being caused due to food poisoning or so!!