Growing Foodwise Kids
Brie Mazurek, CUESA Staff
October 11, 2013
As we get ready for our biggest fundraiser of the year, the 11th annual Sunday Supper, we at CUESA are focused on growing our newest educational initiative: Foodwise Kids. We are very proud of this innovative program, which uses the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market as a classroom for inspiring children to love vegetables and fruits through comparative tastings, exploring the market, and a hands-on cooking lesson in the CUESA Kitchen.
Since we launched Foodwise Kids last year, 921 children from 32 classes have participated, primarily from San Francisco public elementary schools serving low-income students. The program has reached full capacity, and this fall, we have already had to place 26 classes on a waiting list.
We hope to expand Foodwise Kids, so that more young students will meet a farmer, try a pluot or pomegranate for the first time, discover that Brussels sprouts are actually quite tasty, and eat a salad of their own invention.
CUESA needs $26,000 to double the number of students currently served. We hope you will help us make this possible. By supporting the program at CUESA’s Sunday Supper on October 20 or by making an online donation in any amount, you can join us in cultivating a healthy future for the next generation of eaters.
But don’t take our word for it. Read what kids and teachers have to say about how the program has impacted them. These responses have been transcribed verbatim, with adorable kid spelling and all!
“When we went to the farmers market we tasted oranges and grany smith apples. I learned that fruts and vectables can grow in difrent seasns. I talked to chef Amy. My group made a frut salad with pomegranate, beets, and peaches. And we talked to the farmers.”
—Jayesh, third grade
“I loved it so much! I talked to chefs Amy, Blair, Elianna and Theresa…Too bad the other classes didn’t go. I’ve never been in the kitchen at the farmers market. This was an awesome experience!”
—Becca, third grade student
“I learned that the farmers market has honey. I learned that you don’t take seeds out of the zucchini and that you can talk to the farmers.”
“I think that the structure of the field trip was great. The students had a task to do, and they were given a bit of free rein in what they could buy, which was great because they had choice. A lot of them wanted to try new things or share their favorite foods with others. I saw them make observations like, ‘I’ve never seen a purple bell pepper’ or ‘I just tried a jujube.’ Even the parents on the trip were saying that. The next day, the students were still talking about which fruits were their favorites and how much they loved the crackers they made. When the kids are actually preparing the food at the market and the farmers are right there, it really conveys the message that it’s fresh and local.”
—Christie, third grade teacher
“I thout the farmers market was fun. I thought the crackers were good because it tasted like bagels. I like bagels. I also liked the white belpepper. I thout the farmers where nice. I also liked cutting the melon. I thout the best part was eating. That’s why I liked the farmers market.”
—Mats, third grade student
“Thank you for helping me make yummy foods. I love to cook.”
—Wilson, first grade student
“At the farmers market we got to go shopping. We also made salad and made own crackers and ate it. We had a lot of examples to taste if it’s good or not. I never knew that people could eat cactuses. I love the Ferry Building!”
—Alessio, third grade student
“It was very fun at the farmers market because we tride alout of new foods…We made crakers and fruit salad. We talked to farmers, Amy, Blair, Elianna and Theresa. I learned how to get pomegranate seeds out of the pod.”
—Jonah, third grade student
“This was such an enriching experience for our students. Many of them have never experienced cooking and shopping at a farmers market.”
—Katrina, fourth grade teacher
“Dear chefs. Thank you so much for teaching us how to cook. I liked cooking. I like to go to the shopping. I like to go eating! I like to go tasting.”
—Joe, first grade student