Healing Meals for Healthy Communities

Ceres Project Week 1 16 In June 2013, the Ceres Community Project received a Community Grant of $15,000 in support of its program – Healing Meals for Healthy Communities.  Providing nutritional meals for people with a wide range of serious illnesses, what is unique about this project is the involvement of teens, between 13-18 years old, who prepare the meals.  Thus an important goal of this six-month pilot project is that teens working side by side with chefs in the Kitchen at Hanna Boys Center will develop confidence, gain important life skills, become knowledgeable advocates for healthy eating, and understand the value of contributing to their community. The pictures below are living proof of the impact that this project is already making  and you will enjoy reading the following update provided by the project manager, Francesca Fifis:

The Ceres Community Project Sonoma Valley got off to a brilliant start on September 3rd.  Six teenagers arrive at the  Hanna Boys Center catering kitchen every Tuesday and Wednesday eager to learn how to cook.  They have been so efficient, we were able to add a fourth entrée in the second week and a fifth client in our third week, way ahead of schedule.  We’ll be ramping up to six weekly clients in October.  The teens say they’re having a great time; adult volunteers report being very moved by their experiences; and clients are expressing tremendous gratitude for our meals and support. 

 We are fortunate to share donations of produce with all the local non-profits in Sonoma.  They come from Whole Foods, Paul’s Produce and Oak Hill Farm.  We’ve also been getting donations from the farm at Sweetwater Spectrum and the Sonoma Valley Gleaners. 

We are holding the next orientation on November 20th to invite more teens and adult volunteers to join us.  Whole Foods is planning to hold a 5% Day for us in December, which will increase our exposure as well as bringing in important funds.  We are also participating in the Bi-National Health Fair that La Luz is holding at the Boys and Girls Club in October.  As Sonoma Valley residents learn about us they are always impressed and supportive of our program.  We aim to build on that goodwill to bring in more volunteers and the financial support to build a solid foundation so that the program can help many more people in the years to come.

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