Our Story

In 2011, North Coast Opportunities learned about the Ceres Community Project (ceresproject.org), a program that serves medically challenged individuals nourishing meals with the help of volunteers and teens. 5 years later, NCO and supporting community organizations launched The Caring Kitchen Project to manifest this vision in Mendocino County.    

The Caring Kitchen Project became a passion project for Chef April Cunningham as she began to witness the power of healing meals when friends and neighbors were in a health crisis, and she dedicated the founding of the project to a dear friend who had passed away from cancer. She knew that many others facing cancer needed a support network and access to nourishing, organic meals, and the Caring Kitchen Project was brought to life to fill this need.

Each week Caring Kitchen delivers organic, plant-based meals to cancer patients and others with critical health needs in the community via volunteer Delivery Angels. Nutritious meals are prepared with the majority of ingredients sourced from local organic farmers, the garden at Mendocino College, and community gardeners. Caring Kitchen has continued to offer training for teen volunteers to develop life, job, and leadership skills in the kitchen and garden.

Since the start, the Caring Kitchen Project has grown and become recognized and trusted in the community for the high-quality meals provided, a strong volunteer base, and the vibrant community collaborations that have been made.  At the heart of Caring Kitchen's work is fostering genuine empathy and connection through nourishing meals and the opportunity to serve others.


Goals and Objectives

  • Support the health and recovery of individuals undergoing cancer treatment and their families by providing organic, vegetable-rich meals designed for healing.
  • Utilize a local commercial kitchen to prepare the meals, and deliver weekly meals with the help of volunteers.
  • Train teen volunteers in nutrition, cooking, and job skills 
  • Develop a sense of empathy in the community’s youth
  • Foster meaningful connections and a sense of community for all partners and participants
  • Source from local, organic food producers
  • Promote “Food as Medicine” in the broader community

Our 2021 Impact

Meals prepared and delivered
Community members received nourishing meals
Volunteer hours contributed
Teens engaged

A Program of

NCO Logo