An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.



Eliminating diet-related health disparities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts of the food system requires a shift in dietary patterns, such as increasing plant-forward meals and operational changes in food service to minimize food loss and waste. Innovations in food service, from menu engineering to promote plant-forward meals to food recovery programs, play important roles in changing consumption patterns and thus can contribute to population and planetary health. Many companies and public agencies have developed environmental and health initiatives, yet their ability to expand them and meet increasing consumer demand depends on a workforce with knowledge, competencies, and skills to procure and prepare healthy, sustainable ingredients, cook vegetarian, vegan, and plant- forward meals, implement food waste prevention and recovery programs, and communicate the value of these practices to customers. This project engages CUNY faculty and students, together with experts from industry, the public sector, non-profit organizations, in a series of co-design workshops to develop curricula and a stackable credential framework in climate-friendly, healthy, efficient food service (CHEF). The goal is to meet the need for food service workers trained in sustainable, healthy food service, enhancing the relevance of community college culinary instruction and improving the job prospects of culinary, hospitality, and related community college majors in the growing field of sustainable and healthy food service. In doing so the project will create a model for culinary and hospitality management education that will produce a workforce equipped to address critical environmental and public health needs.Within the project's 12-month timeframe, two CUNY community colleges, with support from the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and in collaboration with other CUNY community colleges, will accomplish the following four specific objectives:(1) Convene an advisory group of leading industry, public sector, and non-profit experts who have advanced sustainable and healthy food service practices to guide the development, and eventual implementation, of the CHEF curriculum and credential framework.(2) Through interviews with food service providers and related potential employers offering sustainable and healthy products and services (e.g., restaurant groups, supermarket chains, and food manufacturers), and non-profit organizations advancing and supporting sustainable and healthy food service initiatives, identify the specific skills and competencies most critical to enable food preparation and facility management staff to support their employers' health and environmental initiatives.(3) Through a series of co-design workshops with CUNY faculty, advisory group members, and students, develop course modules and revisions to existing curricula that incorporate CHEF skills and competencies, and create a stackable CHEF credential framework that is pedagogically sound and meets the expectations of leading food service providers in the for-profit, non-profit, and public sectors.(4) Prepare an implementation grant application based on the design work to support the launch and pilot testing of the CHEF credential framework in at least two CUNY community colleges in the 2024-2025 academic year.

Cohen, N.; Fernandes, NI, .; D'Alessandro, MA, .
Start date
End date
Project number
Accession number