No child should go hungry.

Every child deserves warm, nutritious meals.

Our mission is to help schools administer federal meal programs to bring healthy meals to at-risk students.

School Food and Wellness Group is a full-service child nutrition consulting firm aimed at providing comprehensive professional services for both the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Afterschool (Supper) Program. SFW Group currently partners with over 300 schools across the U.S., ensuring over 100,000 students receive healthy meals on a daily basis. We have all of the tools necessary to support school districts, single and multi-site charters, charter management organizations (CMOs), private schools, and after-school non-profit programs. 


SFW Group’s dedication to bridging the gap between schools and state agencies has resulted in a positive track record among the various industry groups. Our team of consultants have extensive knowledge of procedures and best practices, and attend state and USDA training seminars on a routine basis.  As a result, we have helped our clients successfully complete state administrative reviews since 2014 without discovering any significant financial deficiencies. SFW Group is a goal-oriented organization aimed at delivering professional service, developing and sustaining business relationships, and investing in our clients' futures. 

Get the Facts...

We are a group of dedicated individuals who each have a background and passion in education and nutrition. 

Our main office is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where all the compliance magic happens. 

The team is also spread out across the U.S. in Los Angeles, Northern California, Chicago, Denver and New York. 

By working with us, you are working with former State Nutrition Auditors, School Food Service Directors, Food Service Management Company Directors, School Business Managers, Corporate Wellness Coordinator, Financial Business Director, but most importantly: mothers, fathers, grandmother, triathletes, Ironman champions, food bloggers, non-profit founders, gardeners, self-proclaimed chefs, self-proclaimed professional snowboarders, a craft beer connoisseur, a previous high school varsity football-baseball-soccer jock (and overly proud of it), and many animal lovers. We are a group of passion filled, school food advocates. Welcome!

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- our success -

By the Numbers

the facts on sfwg

  • Currently manages over 9 million dollars in federal funds for over 80 organizations.

  • In 2016-17 successfully managed 21 state audits with zero financial findings.

  • Earned schools over $75,000 in equipment grants.

  • Helped over 50 schools successfully become School Food Authorities and CACFP sponsors.

  • Directly managed 30+ administrative reviews with no financial findings.

  • Saved schools over $50,000 in vendor billing errors.

  • Presented “National School Lunch Program: Procurement 101 and Best Practices” at the 2016 National Charter School Conference after hours workshop.

  • Presented “Navigating the National School Lunch Program” at the 2016 Charter School Leadership Update Conference in San Diego.

  • Presented "What's for Lunch?" at the 2017 California Charter School Association Conference.


$80 million

in Federal FUnds



Saved Schools


in venDor Billing Errors



earned Schools




Client retention rate

Meet The Team

Emily Chatelain, MBA
Founder & CEO

The company was founded by Emily H. Chatelain, who brings many years of experience providing operations, financial, and human resource management to charter schools across the United States. Emily began working in the education reform industry in 2012 as an Operations Manager at a Charter High School.  Emily received her B.S. from Louisiana State University and MBA from the University of New Orleans. She is passionate about health and wellness and has a background in nutrition and physical fitness. Emily has successfully managed K-12 nutrition programs for the past seven years, helping schools with budgets, contracts, best operating practices, audits and general food service compliance issues.


Clare Keating, MBA, SNA

Regional Program Director   
Clare Keating has 18 years of experience in the school foodservice industry through various positions with the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health and Preferred Meal Systems. She has proven success with contract management, training, meal program compliance, marketing, product development and food safety. Dedicated to child nutrition, she is passionate about assisting schools in running an efficient and financially sound meal program. Clare received her undergraduate degree with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from Northern Illinois University and her M.B.A. from Lewis University. She is a member of the Illinois Association of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Illinois Association of School Business Officials and is also a member of the School Nutrition Association, receiving the designation of School Foodservice Specialist.

Leeza Woodbury, RD

Program Director - CA
Leeza Woodbury is a Registered Dietitian and has held various positions in the school foodservice industry over the last 5 years. As a former Director of Nutrition Services, she successfully ran a multi-million dollar program that served over 1.8 million meals per school year. Along with ensuring overall program compliance, Leeza has experience in staff development, expanding Wellness Policy initiatives and incorporating different federally funded meal programs. Leeza received her undergraduate degree with a Bachelor in Nutritional Science from California State University, Los Angeles and her Master of Dietetic Administration degree from Utah State University. She is a member of the California Dietetics Association, the School Nutrition Association and the California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative.

Jerry Photo.jpg

Jerry Cervantes

Regional Program Director
Jerry Cervantes is a seasoned professional in the Customer Success and Account Management field. Over the last 6 years, he has strategically partnered with over 200 schools and community-based organizations across the country to implement financially sustainable meal programs using federal funds. In addition to ensuring meal program participation stays high by measuring key metrics, Jerry has lots of experience leading client trainings and enjoys working with them on a personal level to help them achieve their meal program goals. He is fluent in both English and Spanish. In his spare time, Jerry enjoys going for long walks around Brooklyn with his two dogs Captain and Meeka, and fueling his landscape photography addiction with lots of travel with his husband, Michael. His favorite cities to visit are Mexico City and London. Jerry holds a BA in Human Development from SUNY Empire State College and is based in Brooklyn, New York.


Shannon Norwood

Director of Compliance 

Shannon manages all school accounts through on-boarding, staff training, paperwork processing, eligibility compliance and state reporting requirements. Shannon received her BA in English Language and Literature from Louisiana State University in 2014. Shannon also helps lead the marketing team and social media initiative. Shannon is the go-to for all state audits and compliance, and works around the clock to ensure each client is fully supported and all questions are answered. 

Justin Chatelain, MBA
Director of Business
Justin has 15 years of experience related to the field of financial management. He has spent 9 years in the Oil, Gas, & Chemicals industry, managing the financial portion of complex mid- and large-capital projects. Prior to that, he worked as a Business Valuation Consultant, focused on delivering clear and objective financial analysis reports to a variety of clients across both private and public sectors.  In 2004, he earned a MBA (Finance & Entrepreneurship concentration) from the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University.


Debbie Marks, M.Ed.

Program Manager

Debbie began her work in schools in 2015 as a Biology, Environmental Science, and Anatomy and Physiology teacher. She transitioned to a new role as Operations Manager, where she managed budgets, human resources, daily operations, and school-wide programs. She quickly discovered that running the school food program took up a large part of her time each day and that it was vastly important to her students' success and wellbeing. In 2019, she joined the School Food and Wellness Group team and has continued to explore her passion for school nutrition and wellness. Debbie received her undergraduate degree with a B.S. in Biology from DePaul University and her M.Ed. from National-Louis University

Dana Michell, Marketing Director

Dana Michell is an award-winning creative professional with proven expertise in public relations, social media marketing, brand development, advertising campaigns, copywriting and much more. She has a deep understanding of effective communications and demonstrated success in achieving results for clients. Dana received her B.S. in Mass Communications from Louisiana State University. Ever the problem solver, Dana will take a strategic approach to implementing marketing solutions that work for our partner schools and food vendors, to help promote healthy school eating habits.