Here at Y.U.M. Chefs, our goal is to include children from all socio-economic backgrounds in our cooking classes through our scholarship and community outreach program. Read below to learn more about the community outreach classes. Click here to make a donation to support these programs, or scroll down to the bottom of the page.
In addition to teaching at our kitchen classroom in the Mission, Y.U.M. Chefs teaches classes at off-site transitional housing centers, emergency shelters and community centers because we believe that all children deserve the gift of cooking classes. We currently teach at two Hamilton Family Centers and Saint Joseph's Family Center. At St Joseph's Family Center there is a beautiful garden. We incorporate the garden produce into our lessons, especially the chard, kale and herbs, such as adding chard into our Vietnamese fresh rolls with the adults. Typically the adult classes are geared towards teaching adults basic kitchen skills on how to make quick family friendly nutritious and nourishing meals while on a budget.
The kids classes are especially rewarding as the cooking classes offer a consistent place where the kids get to focus their energy on creating something delicious and beautiful. It not only teaches them how to cook and how to love fruits and veggies but also offers other life skills such as discipline, how to embrace creativity and how to feel empowered. It's amazing to see how the students' palates and behaviors change in a positive way around food and around each other. This past Fall, we celebrated National Kale Day with Kale Chips, Kale Smoothies and Kale Salads! One child said: "I didn't think I was going to like this but it's so yummy!" Another child said "I don't like it, I love it!" (referring to the green kale smoothie). Some of the parents were shocked that we got the kids to eat something green!
An inside scoop at one of the centers: "One of the students at Hamilton Family Center will greet me each time I walk in the door and help me set up the class before any one else arrives. He loves to set up the kitchen and mis en place the recipes. He has become the sous chef of the class. I had one picky eater last year who would not try any of the food we made each week. She loved the cooking process but stayed away from the end product. After spending almost 8 months seeing her every other week, I remember she came up to me and took a bite of a black bean burger we made and smiled and said "Look Chef Annie! I'm trying it!" She was so proud. I was too. It warmed my heart. It happens again and again where kids and adults need constant exposure to fruits and veggies and preparing your own food helps break down those barriers. The process of creating something and being re-introduced to it multiple times is priceless." -Annie, Y.U.M. Chefs Program Director
Want to help us offer more programs to these sites? Use the form below to donate to Y.U.M. Chefs!