Food for a Thousand

The vast majority of our 1,000 students eat breakfast and lunch with us every day. At Match, we do our best to offer kids healthy meals. The last couple of years, we've done that with help from our partners at Revolution Foods. What follows is a Q&A with Joshua Birdsall of Revolution Foods, about the company's philosophy, menu and how many apples they go through in a week (hint: it's a lot). 

What’s your philosophy?
Our mission is to build lifelong healthy eaters by making kid-inspired, chef-crafted food accessible to all. We believe that high quality, real food can be fun, flavorful, and good for the body and for the mind!
Who creates your menu?
Our menu is a true partnership between our dedicated team of chefs, nutritionists, and local representatives.  
What food can’t kids get enough of?
Our food needs to be delicious first, and healthy second. Not to say that healthy isn’t important to us, because it truly is. But our experience has been that you can serve the healthiest school lunches in the world, but none of it will matter if kids don’t want to eat it! To that point, our strategy is to put a better-for-you twist on kid-favorite meals.

It’s hard to pick an absolute winner, but some of our kid favorites this year have been our chicken potstickers (steamed in a whole wheat dumpling wrapper), our inside out cheese pizza (think healthy calzone!), and our all-natural hot dog.

You guys refer to your food as “real food." What does that mean?
Real food can mean so many different things to so many different people, which is why we’ve created a detailed list of ingredient standards for our meals. At its core, though, real food means simple, unprocessed, freshly-prepared food. Research shows that this kind of food is naturally rich in essential nutrients and does not contain empty calories from added sugar and fat or excess salt. Our menu focuses on whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. We do not allow artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners, in addition to over 52 other “never ever” processed food additives and ingredients.

How many meals/snacks do you make a day for Match?
Between its campuses, we make an average of 600 breakfasts, 885 lunches, and 785 snacks a day for Match!

How do you get it to us? 
A day in the life of a Revolution Foods meal starts early! Our local culinary teams hand-prepare our meals daily, then ship them overnight and deliver them in the morning to each school site by truck.  

Do you freeze your food? 
This may not sound intuitive, but frozen food doesn’t necessarily go against our ingredient standards. Once fruits and vegetables are harvested, the plant will essentially starts to eat itself (and its essential nutrients) in order to stay alive. This means the longer that produce sits unused, the less nutrient dense it will be. Freezing fresh produce can actually be a great way to preserve the nutrients, which is why we sometimes use frozen vegetables.

Apples are the icon of school lunch. How many pounds of apples do you use in a week?
It changes every week, depending on what’s menued. But to give you a rough idea, next week we’re projecting around 600 cases of apples, that 84,000 individual apples for our clients in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.