Revolution Foods offers healthy meals with all natural ingredients in both schools and stores, serving over 1.4 million children freshly prepared meals every week to K-12 schools in 27 US cities.
Focus: Health, food
Geographic Area of Impact: USA
Model: Social business
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 1.4 million per week (2013)
Annual Budget: USD 67 million (2013)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 100% (2013)
The Social Problem
Over one-third of American children are obese or overweight, and 50% of minority children born after 2000 are expected to develop Type II diabetes in their lifetime due to poor eating habits among a host of other factors. Children are consuming more meals outside the home than ever before, and the meals served by National School Lunch Programme providers are heavily processed and loaded with additives, fat, and sugar. In fact, 50% of the calories children consume in America come from added fat and sugar in heavily processed meals and snack food.
Innovation and Activities
Revolution Foods’ aim is to dramatically transform school lunch and close the access gap to healthy food for millions of low-income children in America. 70% of the meals served by Revolution Foods are for children enrolled in the free- or reduced-price lunches (FRL) programme, which serves children living at or just above the federal poverty line. The menus are specially prepared by nutritionists to be appealing to kids, do not have any processed foods, trans-fats, or additives, and include recommended daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Beyond the direct impact this proper nutrition has on children’s long-term healthy eating habits, attention span and focus at school, Revolution Foods provides living wages, quality benefits, and employee stock options to over 840 employees in inner city metro areas. Revolution Foods also manages its procurement process for social impact, working with organic farmers and ranchers who raise livestock in ethical conditions.
In 2013 Revolution Foods launched a Meal Kit line providing affordable, balanced meals high in proteins and whole grains and low in added sugars with no artificial ingredients. The Meal Kits are already for sale in 2000 grocery stores across the US, and pilot sales are underway with Walmart, Costco, and 7-11.
Kristin Groos Richmond previously worked at Citibank. She founded the Kenya Community Center for Learning in Nairobi in 2000 before co-founding Revolution Foods in 2005. Kristin is an Aspen Institute New Leaders in Education Fellow, an Ashoka Fellow and an Education Pioneers Fellow. She is also a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions and a Young Global Leader Fellow of the World Economic Forum.
Kirsten Saenz Tobey began her career teaching and leading education programs in the U.S. and Latin America. She is an Ashoka Fellow, Aspen Institute Environmental Fellow, member of the Culinary Institute of America's Sustainable Business Leadership Council and past mentor for the Women's Initiative Fellowship Program.
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