Real food
is the solution.

Public schools are the largest restaurant chain in America.

America’s school cafeterias serve seven billion meals a year—more than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway combined. Unfortunately, the food system in our country pushes sugar-added, ultra-processed menus, making schools more like the largest fast food chain in America.*

*Source: Nation’s Restaurant News, National Center for Education Statistics

The Issue

Ultra-processed foods* are having a serious effect on our kids.

Obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, ADHD, depression, and anxiety have all been linked to processed food consumption. 1 in 5 adolescents are now pre-diabetic.

BIPOC children are up to five times more likely to die from diabetes than their white peers. What’s more, poor nutrition can enforce cycles of poverty.

*Source: CDC, NIH, Journal of Pediatrics

*Harvard Health defines ultra processed foods as “made mostly from substances extracted from foods, such as fats, starches, added sugars, and hydrogenated fats. They may also contain additives like artificial colors and flavors or stabilizers. Examples: frozen meals, soft drinks, hot dogs and cold cuts, fast food, packaged cookies, cakes, and salty snacks.”

Food-related disease is preventable.

Getting whole, healthy and delicious meals into our cafeterias and homes means improved health for everyone.

Our Solution

Eat Real nourishes the future
of American kids by putting real food on the table at school, at home, and in local and national policy.

Real Food Access

Our award-winning K-12 certification program provides school leaders with a proven and supportive path to transforming their cafeteria menus in as little as two years.

Learn about certification

Real Food Awareness

Alongside a community of food system advocates, chefs, and parents, we spread the word about the power and viability of serving real, delicious food at school and at home.

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Real Food Advocacy

We advocate for healthier policies and higher food standards so every child has access to a better meal. Our 2023 focus areas are Universal School Meals and Improved USDA Nutrition Standards.

Get involved

Our Impact

129 million meals a year

Since 2019, we’ve helped more than 600 schools put real food on their school menus. That means up to 129 MILLION nutritious, delicious breakfasts and lunches in the last year alone, made accessible to 360,000 kids! Our program is offered to public school districts free of charge. Want to help us reach more states and more kids?

Our Vision

Every child can look forward to a healthy and delicious future on a livable planet.

School cafeterias can help stop the climate clock.

The top two ways to reduce C02 in the atmosphere are food-related: reducing food waste and eating more plants. Eat Real focuses on school food not just because we care about our kids’ collective health, but because we also care about the health of the planet they’ll inherit. 

See our standards

Eat Real is proud to be a part of the 1% for the Planet network, which connects businesses and nonprofits to protect the planet. Businesses who are part of 1% for the Planet can name Eat Real as their beneficiary when they make the pledge. More info at