Caring Kitchen Project
Tarney Sheldon, Project Manager
Tel: (707) 462-1950
April Cunningham, Kitchen Manager
Tel: (707) 467-3212
The Caring Kitchen Project in Mendocino County, 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.
- Moving to our new kitchen location at Mendocino College! January 2019 marks a second year for Caring Kitchen serving inland Mendo County clients facing a cancer diagnosis. January 2019 also marks the beginning of kitchen operations in a new commercial kitchen located on the Mendocino College Ukiah Campus (we're in room 6200 on their campus map).
- Pizza Dine-Out Event - Mark your calendars for January 26th and head over to Ukiah's Mountain Mikes Pizza to dine out for lunch or dinner. Proceeds from each purchase will benefit the Caring Kitchen!
- 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 Ukiah kitchen.
- AmeriCorps VISTA Service Member: NCO's Caring Kitchen is looking for applicants for our Local Food Access VISTA position. The chosen applicant will build the NCO’s food assistance capacity by developing a sustainable volunteer recruitment and management system for the Caring Kitchen Project and will work to strengthen NCO’s communication and social media platforms regarding local food access. This year-long position (similar to a paid internship) will work with the Caring Kitchen to ensure that low-income community members have access to nutritious, healthy food. Interested in finding out more? Want to apply? Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until filled -- Click Here
- Adult Volunteers: 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 email@example.com (or call 707-467-3212) for orientation dates and further information.
- Teen Volunteers: We invite teens (ages 13-19) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (or call 707-467-3226) with any questions.
- January Orientation Dates: Interested in volunteering? You're invited to one of our orientations at our Mendocino College kitchen. Times and dates: 4:30-6pm on Wednesday, January 16 -- 2-3:30pm on Thursday, January 17 -- 4:30-6pm on Thursday, January 17 -- Please RSVP for the date and time you'd like to attend.
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
- Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County
- Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA)
- Adventist Health Ukiah Valley
- Community volunteers