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Certifications & Awards

BVSD is the first REAL Certified school district in the country, a recipient of 39 USDA HUSSC awards, the only school district to be named to the Good Food 100 Restaurants List (earning the top mark of six links twice) and the first entity of any kind to receive the highest, 5-star rating from the Center for Good Food Purchasing.

Good Food Purchasing Program

The Center for Good Food Purchasing’s Good Food Provider seal is a coveted marker of positive impact within the sustainable food system. As part of our participation in this program, we have been engaged in an analysis of our food supply chain in terms of alignment with the five values that are core to the Good Food Purchasing Program, which are expressly stated as: (1) Local Economies, (2) Environmental Sustainability, (3) Valued Workforce, (4) Animal Welfare, and (5) Nutrition.

We were beyond thrilled that, in December 2017, BVSD was named the first entity of any kind in the country to receive the Good Food Provider seal with their highest, five-star rating. On National Food Day, the School Food Project and Director Ann Cooper were recognized as The Center's 2018 Institutional Good Food Hero! Learn more about BVSD's success and these milestones for the Good Food Purchasing Program.

For additional information about GFPP and our commitment to a sustainable food system and local food, please click here.

Good Food 100 Restaurants List

The Boulder Valley School District’s School Food Project was also been recognized for its role in promoting good food and sustainable food systems with six links, the highest possible level of achievement, on the first annual Good Food 100 Restaurants List, announced in June 2017, and again in 2018. The list is based on self-reported annual food purchasing data, independently verified by NSF Responsible Sourcing. Restaurants are rated with two to six links—symbolizing links in the food chain—based on the percent of total food costs spent to support state, regional and national ‘good food’ producers and purveyors. To view the CU Leeds School of Business Economic Impact Report, please click here.

Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms

In December 2016, 39 BVSD schools were recognized by the USDA's Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) program. HUSSC: SL is a voluntary certification initiative recognizing those schools enrolled in Team Nutrition that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.


In November 2016, BVSD became the first REAL Certified school district in the country. REAL Certified is the nationally recognized trust-mark for restaurants and food service providers that are committed to promoting health and sustainability within the industry. This certification means that we stand out from others in the industry for our Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL). In order to achieve this recognition, we opened our operation to a full-scale audit, conducted by a REAL Certified Registered Dietitian. In undergoing this extensive process, we have indicated our commitment to transparency within the food service world.




Healthier US School Challenge logo



Chef Ann Cooper has also been recognized in a variety of capacities, past and present:

  • Executive committee member, Chefs Collaborative
  • Fellow, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Society Policy Board 
    BVSD Food Services Director Ann Cooper
  • Member, USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (by congressional appointment)
  • Member, Google Innovation Lab for Food Experiences
  • President and Board Member, Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs
  • President, American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont
  • Advisory Board Member, Real Food for Kids
  • Member, Slow Food Chefs' Alliance
  • Honoree, National Resources Defense Council
  • Honorary doctorate, SUNY Cobleskill 
  • IACP’s 2012 Humanitarian of the Year
  • Influential 20, Food Service Director Magazine
  • Top 15 Crusaders for Health in the Food Industry,
  • Women Chefs and Restaurateurs’ Community Service Award, Susan B. Komen Foundation
  • Special Inspirational Award, Susan B. Komen Foundation
  • Top 50 Food Activists of 2016, Academy of Culinary Nutrition
  • 2019 American Food Hero, EatingWell Magazine