Helping Kids Grow Healthy Relationships with Food: Red Rabbit

by Deirdre Appel
Reb Rabbit

Name: Red Rabbit 

What They Do: Founded in 2005, Red Rabbit’s mission is to provide all children with access to nutritious, made-from-scratch meals in school while also encouraging them to explore, learn and grow healthy relationships with food that will last a lifetime. To accomplish this, the organization partners with local schools to provide customized, kid-tested healthy meal programs, provides access to information about healthy eating through their digital platform; and educates kids, teachers, families and communities about the links between nutrition and healthy eating choices so that the positive impact can live beyond the school cafeteria.

How They Do It: Red Rabbit currently partners with close to 180 independent, charter and public schools as well as Pre-K for All, Head Start and private daycare programs, serving more than 28,000 snacks and meals every day. Reb Rabbit works with each school partner individually to prepare meals that are the right fit for them and ensure that the schools have access to all the information they need about the origins of food and how healthy choices impact their communities’ well-being. A sample menu can be found here

In addition to providing nutritious meals, Red Rabbit is an active change agent in the community and larger food system through their education offerings. Their education programs, or Food Labs, cultivate confidence and curiosity about whole foods in a hands-on learning environment to help foster healthy relationships with food. Reb Rabbit’s vision is to inspire an entire generation of healthy choosers–that is, kids who choose to eat healthy foods because they want to, not because they’re told to.

They currently offer four types of Labs: 

  • Cooking: These labs focus on teaching kids about nutritious dishes and training them to prepare the recipes themselves. Cooking labs can be conducted in any school environment regardless of whether the school has access to a cafeteria kitchen.
  • Bite-Sized: 30-minute lessons on healthy foods and how they are grown. These labs are a great way for schools to introduce an activity and provide a healthy snack however busy their schedules might be. 
  • Gardening: These labs provide students with foundational knowledge about how food grows and gives them a hands-on experience of growing their own fruits and vegetables. Red Rabbit provides all the necessary equipment for the lab and can even help schools build their own gardens.  
  • Family: Understanding how important it is to have families encouraging kids to adopt healthy eating practices, Family Labs welcome parents and guardians into any cooking or gardening program to learn beside their child and get hands-on with whole foods.

Red Rabbit provides supplies and equipment for all labs, making it easy for schools to integrate on-site cooking and gardening programs into their curriculum.

Mission: Red Rabbit’s mission is to provide all children with access to nutritious, made-from-scratch meals in school, while encouraging them to explore, learn and grow healthy relationships with food that will last a lifetime.  

Latest project/campaign: Earlier this year, at the 34th national Child Nutrition Conference held in Chicago Reb Rabbit presented two workshops, one on sugar consumption led by CEO and founder Rhys Powell, and another, led by education instructor Jennie Piewka, on training teachers how to promote healthy eating habits in the classroom. The conference brings together vendors, state agencies and thought leaders to discuss the best ways to feed kids. 

Major Funding: Revenue from school food programs 

Profit/nonprofit: Certified B Corporation 

Annual Revenue: N/A

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: A sustainable food system is an inclusive food system. Reb Rabbit is a certified New York City Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise. Their diverse team of employees represents every borough in New York City and is made up of staff from more than 30 different countries. Their badge of diversity is one they wear with pride. 

 FACT SHEET

Location: 1751 Park Ave, New York, NY 10035
Core Programs: Made-from-scratch school lunch food provider
Number of staff: N/A
Number of volunteers: N/A
Areas served: All boroughs of New York City
Year Started: 2005
Director/Founder: Rhys Powell
Contact Information: [email protected]
Website: http://www.myredrabbit.com/

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