Young volunteers at the Ceres community program meet after school to provide healthy meals for patients at local hospitals.
It all started with a simple request. In 2006, Cathryn Couch served as a cook and delivered meals to customers. One day a friend called to ask if the sofa had cooked for her teenage daughter. She didn’t, but the friend insisted. So Couch finally came up with a project: making meals and sending them to the local homeless center.
After seeing how excited and proud a friend’s daughter was after dinner, Couch decided to replicate their course on a much larger scale. That’s why the Ceres community project was born in 2007.
The based in the bay area plan, named after the Roman goddess of agriculture and cultivate recruit youth volunteer health all organic food cooking, and send it to cancer and other weak symptoms of patients with local.
It really took off. In the first year, 21 volunteers made 4,500 meals. By 2015, the program involved 400 volunteers who had prepared more than 90,000 meals.
The Ceres community project has published a cookbook. It expanded and opened five branches in the gulf. Couch has helped in Eugene, Oregon, and Wisconsin Madison city launched a similar projects, such as Ceres also cooperate with whole food companies: some bay area county store sale now made salad, volunteers every dollar sold a pint of back to the organization.
Now the group has expanded to the east of San Francisco. In February, the Ceres program opened in Alameda, calif., and partnered with a supportive housing community called Alameda Point Collaborative. (most of the money comes from a $100,000 legacy of a local woman’s breast cancer, which typically comes from individuals, foundations and in-kind donations.)
The recipes of these teenage chefs follow the advice of the American cancer institute, which says that meals should be two-thirds plant-based foods.
From Alameda Point Collaborative teenagers – for homeless families with housing and job training, before the family at least one adult who are permanently disabled — using off-the-shelf products to cook healthy meals (date of chickpeas pumpkin burgers with chutney, baked salmon and wild rice) the planned site garden after class. Adult volunteers then meals to maxwell’s clinic in Oakland, charlotte, it is cancer women and their families, a nonprofit service income equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty line.
Ceres follows the recommendations of the American cancer institute, which says that meals should be two-thirds plant-based and not include any white flour, sugar or processed foods.
“A lot of kids, I see their natural leadership in the kitchen,” said Aileen Suzara, the alameda project coordinator and chef. “I see the spark of some kids, how they feel about someone’s life.”
The program focuses on teenage volunteers from what Couch believed she had heard from a buddhist teacher: the most important person in the room is the youngest.
The teen volunteers ate together at the local hospital.
“If we can influence how young people view their relationship with food, if we can let them for their food choices for their own health, the influence of their loved ones health and health excitement on the planet,” said Couch, “then we will foster a generation of man who can help create a more healthy food system.”
But Couch said the scope of the impact was surprising. When she first launched the program, she believed that the cooking skills of teenagers would be the most valuable part of the program. But not all children are learning, Couch said. “The real key is that they are important in the world, their choices will be made, and they will find the institution themselves.”
This is particularly true of the alameda plan. Many teenagers benefit from their lives as a meal service. Couch says serving others and seeing them can have a real impact and help them develop confidence.
“I realized that food is the vehicle that makes people feel loved, they’re part of the community, and they’re connected,” Couch said. “It’s as important as nutrition itself.”