Fairfax group receives $25k grant to bring healthy meals to school lunchrooms

April 9, 2013

An advocacy group focused on bringing healthier meals to Fairfax County students has won a $25,000 grant to help improve school meal nutrition.

Real Food for Kids, a Fairfax-based organization founded by school parents, received the grant from the Myles D. and Faye J. Sampson foundation. The money will fund Real Food for Kids events and programs for a year, according to the group.

“Healthful nutrition is the fuel for our children’s physical, mental and emotional well-being,” said Holli Rivera, executive director of the Pittsburgh-based Sampson Foundation. “Every child deserves better in their quest to learn and grow. We highly respected the collaborative, practical and solutions-oriented approach taken by Real Food for Kids.”

Real Foods for Kids began as an effort to bring salads and made-from-scratch meals to lunchrooms to improve nutrition and rid school meals of chemical additives.

According to a 2012 Post story, Fairfax regulations allowed students to nosh on frozen pizzas filled with 70 ingredients, including bleaching agents, mutlisyllabic emulsifiers and preservatives.

JoAnne Hammermaster, co-founder and president of Real Foods for Kids, said her group was grateful to be working with the Sampson Foundation.

“We both understand what a profound impact health and nutrition can have on learning,” Hammermaster said. “We will use the funds wisely as we continue to work toward positive change in school food.”

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