This Giving Tuesday, put your charitable dollars towards organizations that are making a difference in the lives of young people to improve food security, education and promote a better food system. We recommend checking out the 5 organizations below, each with their own unique mission and programs, or looking for a non-profit in your local area doing similar good work. Impacting the minds, habits and lives of youth when it comes to food can have reverberating and long lasting effects.
The Curriculum of Cuisine, Portland, OR
The Curriculum of Cuisine (TCC) works at the crossroads of culinary education, standards driven academic rigor, career development, and food justice. Their mission is to support rigorous academic learning while delivering essential culinary skills to enhance student success, and foster a lifetime of wellness. They do that by bringing a culinary professional into core academic high school classrooms four to seven times over one semester. During these visits, students learn hands-on, essential culinary skills. This model enables TCC to support increased graduation rates, along with student wellness.
National Farm to School Network, National
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing and food and agriculture education into school systems and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
The Portland Kitchen, Portland, OR
The Portland Kitchen uses food as a tool to build life skills with youth in a fun and creative setting. Through culinary related activities, we promote active learning, self-reliance and healthy living to empower youth as a resource in their community.
Activities include hands-on cooking classes, lectures, field trips and community service projects. The Portland Kitchen graduates are equipped with practical cooking skills, an introduction to the food industry, a framework for nutritious eating, and leadership experience that prepares them to make a difference in their community.
Pie Ranch, Bay Area, CA
Pie Ranch is a nonprofit organization and organic production farm with a mission to cultivate a healthy and just food system from seed to table through food education, farmer training and regional partnerships. Their goal is to change the food system and grow healthy, resilient communities through sustainable agriculture, education, advocacy and training. They have unique partnerships with high schools in Pescadero, Pacifica and San Francisco, and provide programming to youth all over the Bay Area and beyond.
Wellness in the Schools, National
Wellness in the Schools (WITS) is a national non-profit that inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness, and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools. Through meaningful public-private partnerships, WITS work with schools to provide healthy, scratch-cooked meals, active recess periods, and fitness and nutrition education. Their partnership approach drives systemic, long-term change, shifting the entire culture of schools. Currently their programs reach over 50,000 students in over 100 public schools daily.
Feature Image Credit: JoyFoodly.com