Ted Leonsis, Donn Davis and I launched the Revolution Growth fund to invest in growing companies that have the potential to change the world. Today we are thrilled to announce an investment in Revolution Foods, the leading nationwide provider of healthy, kid-inspired school meals.
Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey founded Revolution Foods in 2006 with the goal of revolutionizing school meal programs, a $16 billion a year industry. Instead of reheated frozen pizzas and potato chips, the founders focused on delivering nutritious and delicious food in a cost effective manner. Since that time, Oakland-based Revolution Foods has built a significant business that now serves 1 million fresh meals each week in 1,000 schools in 26 cities throughout the U.S.
In addition to expanding their school meal program to reach more students in more schools in more states, Revolution Foods recently introduced a line of grab-and-go Meal Kits. These products were the first of their kind in a grocery store category typically laden with unhealthy options, and are made with the same high-quality ingredients as their school meals. Now available in 2,000 stores (and growing), Meal Kits are helping to bring healthier food options to the homes of millions of families in need of affordable and convenient options.
Health care is a big challenge for our country, and addressing it has many facets. But as the old adage “you are what you eat” suggests, health starts at the end of our forks. We need healthier food options at home, at work, and on the road – but we especially need healthier foods in our schools. Plenty of studies show that healthy options can help improve student learning, and the eating habits kids form at school can set lifetime patterns. That’s why we’re so excited about the Revolution Food mission, and strong momentum. We share their goal of changing the way students eat, and empowering kids to make smarter food decisions at school and at home.
Right now there is a larger debate in our nation about obesity, childhood nutrition and what our students are eating in school. We believe Revolution Foods can be a key part of the solution, as they are demonstrating that healthy foods can be affordable, accessible and tasty. Their meals meet or exceed the requirements of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA), and meeting these guidelines means they are compliant with the standards for reimbursement, thus making school lunches affordable.
There’s another aspect of the Revolution Foods business we like: it creates lots of jobs. School meals are prepared daily in 7 culinary centers around the country, and have created over 1,000 jobs in urban communities, with an emphasis on providing jobs for inner city workers. We celebrate all entrepreneurs, but are particularly enthusiastic about the entrepreneurs who are helping to ensure that the American dream is alive and well for all.
So in summary, Revolution Foods has the potential to build an iconic brand and company while unleashing a revolution in healthy eating that kids, parents, teachers and communities can all celebrate. We are excited to join our revolution with their revolution – and we hope our involvement will enable every school to have the opportunity to serve Revolution Foods to their students and every family to have access to healthier food options at home.