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Why It Works

    Setting the Table for Change

    LiveWell’s School Food Initiative was built on the principle that effective, sustainable change only happens if school districts have the following five conditions: vision, skills, incentives, resources and an action plan. This research-based framework is called “Managing Complex Change.” This model has been deliberately designed into the School Food Initiative to provide districts with the critical components to begin shifting their kitchen operations. Consequently, our goals are to develop:


    We inspire food service directors to envision a new way of preparing fresh, nutritious student meals. Throughout the process, we show them that this is not just a job, but a calling to meaningfully impact the lives of students.


    We train kitchen staff on more than 30 culinary topics from knife skills and recipe reading to time management, menu planning and program promotions.


    Food service directors and their staffs gain pride and rediscover the joy of cooking with this old-fashioned approach to “real” cooking. They find a renewed sense of commitment to serve their kids even better.


    Districts that participate in the LiveWell@School Food Initiative are eligible to receive a donation from LiveWell Colorado to purchase minor kitchen equipment that will allow them to incorporate one or more healthy, scratch cooking techniques into their meal programs.


    Action Plans

    We assist food service directors and their staff in creating action plans based upon many different factors including their vision, unique challenges, staffing and equipment.



    Once these five conditions have been met, we believe a school district should have the competence and confidence to make meaningful changes to their meal programs. If that happens, their students should be better positioned to load up on natural, healthy food that helps to cut down Colorado’s childhood obesity rates.