Vying for a School Lunch Revolution

Friday, May 11, 2012

Remember school lunches? Some of it was good -- the cookies, sometimes the pizza, mostly the items that would make any self-respecting nutritionist cringe. But in the past 15 years or so, schools have come under fire for serving a hot mess of carbs, salt, and too many trans fats.

Serving palatable, healthy food is more difficult for schools than it should be. Budget cuts have forced most schools to skip cooking fresh food in their cafeterias and buy pre-prepared school lunches instead. That has meant that the food must be cheap and hold up during the ride from wherever it's prepared, which usually results in kids eating plenty of processed, high-sodium chow.

But a growing movement of parents and students in schools want better lunch food, and one company may have figured out how to profit off of people's frustration with the old model. The company, called Revolution Foods, was founded in 2005 by former Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) investment banker Kristin Groos Richmond. It is based in Oakland, but the company has grown and teamed up with schools all over the country.

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