Caring Kitchen Project
Tarney Sheldon, Project Manager
April Cunningham, Kitchen Manager
The Caring Kitchen Project, a Ceres Community Project affiliate, provides nutritious meals delivered to the homes of families struggling with the challenges of cancer. The meals are prepared by volunteer teen chefs-in-training under the guidance of the Caring Kitchen Project’s chef, and draw from primarily plant-based recipes originally created by the Ceres Community Project in Sebastopol, CA.
The Caring Kitchen Project provides opportunities for youth to develop culinary skills, nutrition knowledge, and job readiness skills under the direction of a chef, and in collaboration with adult volunteer mentors. Cooking and sharing food creates and strengthens a sense of community, and the act of preparing and providing food to cancer survivors and their families empowers teen volunteers.
- Adult Volunteer Orientation will be held at NCO's main office at 413 N. State Street on Monday, August 27th from 1:30 - 2:30pm. Come and learn about volunteer opportunities, meet other volunteers, and see if the Caring Kitchen is how you'd like to contribute your time to help create a compassionate community.
- Caring Kitchen's First Anniversary Open House will be held in Ukiah on Saturday, October 20th between 1pm and 4pm. The afternoon will honor our volunteers, partners, teens, and clients. Appetizers, wine, and Fund-a-Need activities will be featured. Stay tuned for details and location.
- The Grow a Row Campaign is ongoing. Join in the campaign by donating organic produce, herbs, berries, and tree fruits for the Caring Kitchen's meals. Donations are accepted on Mondays between 8:30am-4:30pm in Ukiah at 413 N. State Street... please call first to make sure that your organic produce donation is something that will be useful for our client meals. Contact Teel Gordon, Food Access AmeriCorps VISTA, at 707-467-3226 to check in, or to make arrangements to drop off produce at the Willits kitchen.
- Interested adults are welcome to attend an upcoming adult orientation. We're looking for a volunteers to fill a variety of roles such as Kitchen Mentor Chef, Delivery Angel, Fundraiser Extraordinaire, Marketing and Publicity, Garden Mentor, Database Support, and more. Please contact April Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org (or call 707-467-3212) for orientation dates and further information.
- We invite teens (ages 14-19) to complete our Teen Volunteer Application. After receiving your application, we'll contact you about upcoming pre-service workshops so that you'll be prepared to jump right into our kitchen meal preparation team. Please contact Teel Gordon at email@example.com (or call 707-467-3226) with any questions.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES OF THE CARING KITCHEN PROJECT
- Support the health and recovery of individuals undergoing cancer treatment and their families by providing organic, vegetable-rich meals designed for healing
- 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
Chronic diseases account for the four leading causes of death in Mendocino County, with cancer (including lung cancer) and heart disease causing over 50% of all deaths, followed by stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases. Prevention is key, and experiencing healthier living through quality, vegetable-rich meals is just what the Caring Kitchen Project is all about.
The Caring Kitchen Project includes the following components:
- Offering a weekly delivery of four meals to cancer patients and their families in the Ukiah, Redwood Valley, and Willits area
- Training teen volunteers to prepare wholesome meals two afternoons per week
- Preparing nutritious meals with many ingredients sourced from local organic farmers and community members
- Utilizing a local commercial kitchen to prepare the meals, with teens and adult volunteers working side by side
- Delivering meals via “delivery angels,” volunteers who will pick up meals once a week from the kitchen and deliver them to clients
OUR PROJECT PARTNERS:
- North Coast Opportunities
- Mendocino County Cancer Resource Center
- Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA)
- Adventist Health Ukiah Valley
- Community volunteers
BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR -- A "HEALTHY HERO"
or contribute with a One-Time Donation
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