Growing Chefs

Growing Chefs! Ontario is a registered charity based in London, Ontario. They unite Chefs, growers, educators and community members in children's food education projects. They aim to change the way children, youth, families and the greater community learn about food. Their mission is to get kids excited about healthy, wholesome food.

Growing Chefs has worked with my high school students over the past 7 years. The students I work with are between the ages of 15-18 and are disengaged from school. The program is publicly funded (I am teacher with the Thames Valley District School Board) but rents space in downtown London to help re-engage youth who are in-risk. Students are fantastic but often due to poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, addictions, etc they struggle to find success in a regular high school. Growing Chefs has been AWESOME at working with these students.

Growing Chefs has been a highlight of our class programming as they build relationships with the youth, and through hands-on activities teach the students about growing, preparing, and cooking healthy local foods. Even very hard to reach students love these workshops as they can see the real-life benefits of this education and of course enjoy eating the delicious food they prepare!

For over 11 years, Growing Chefs! Ontario has proven itself as the leading organization in Ontario in creating avenues for professional Chefs to get involved in our community and provide impactful hands-on cooking and food literacy programming for thousands of children, youth and families across London and surrounding areas, annually.

A donation on behalf of the Lerners 90th Charitable Giveaway would go to support the School Food Education Project, which aims to get elementary school students excited about healthy food through grade-appropriate, interactive cooking and food literacy lessons with the Growing Chefs! Ontario team. The School Food Education Project is comprised of four separate programs to ensure that any interested school has the opportunity to participate regardless of financial, social or logistical barriers. Each year the project reaches over 6000 students across London and area. Lerners 90th funds would support food costs, equipment upkeep and project coordination.

- Jen

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