The Rachael Ray Foundation and Yum-o! Organization Select Eight High Schools for ProStart Makeovers

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 27, 2020 – Eight high schools from across the country will receive special funding to upgrade and expand their ProStart programs thanks to $425,000 in grants from The Rachael Ray Foundation (RRF) and Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Organization.

Through The Rachael Ray Foundation and Yum-o! Organization Grow Grants, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will provide funding for eight ProStart schools that are offering the program in an effort to engage and educate high school students interested in exploring restaurant and foodservice careers.

ProStart, a two-year career and technical education program focused on culinary arts and restaurant management, is offered in 1,900 schools across the country and currently enrolls 150,000 students. Whether in need of ovens, textbooks, or professional development training for teachers, these schools will now have the funds to upgrade and/or expand their ProStart program.

“I am thrilled to see the incredible passion these schools, students and teachers have for ProStart,” said Rachael Ray, award-winning television personality and philanthropist. “They’re already doing amazing work every day and I’m excited to support their dreams to be future chefs, restaurant managers or entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to see what these students and their teachers ‘cook up’ next.”

Since 2007, the Yum-o! Organization and the Rachael Ray Foundation have provided over $800,000 in financial support to students pursuing industry-related degrees. Over 250 scholarship recipients have gone on to work in top restaurants and hotel kitchens as chefs, cake decorators, mixologists and bakers.


Winning schools awarded a ProStart Grow Grant were required to demonstrate how the program is positively impacting their students and the community. Grants range from $15,000 to $90,000.

Winning schools include:

“The ProStart Grow Grant initiative is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the winning schools and for ProStart on a larger scale,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “With these grants, we can introduce more students to careers in restaurants and hospitality, expand their learning to real-world experiences and grant them the chance to explore a future that is truly limitless.”

The winners will be able to use their funds from the Rachael Ray Foundation and Yum-o! starting this year. To stay connected to their renovations and expansion plans, follow the NRAEF’s ProStart channels on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn and use the hashtag #ProStartGrowGrant.


About The Rachael Ray Foundation
The Rachael Ray Foundation(tm) is a private foundation funded by a portion of the proceeds of each sale of Rachael Ray(tm) Nutrish®. The Foundation supports causes Rachael cares for most such as helping animals in need and working with organizations to support the “Cook, Feed & Fund” mission of Yum-o!, a non-profit formed by Rachael to empower kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. To learn more about The Rachael Ray Foundation please visit

About the Yum-o! Organization
Yum-o! is Rachael Ray’s nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. By providing the tools to create easy, affordable and delicious meals, Yum-o! is changing the way America eats. For more information about the Yum-o! organization, please visit

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide opportunity youth and justice-involved individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

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Jasmine Jones

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