According to a survey done by the non-profit organization "Share Our Strength," One in twelve children in America suffer from hunger. Hungry kids are more likely to get sick, miss school, and have poor test scores. To help at-risk children make better food choices, a growing number of chefs are trying to slice through poverty lines.
Pattie Chase loves everything about food. That's why she became a professional chef. Despite her busy schedule, Pattie takes the time to teach kids from low-income neighborhoods how to cook. "This gives me an opportunity to work with kids who are at risk for hunger and malnutrition who aren't so advantaged. Those who don't have the choices and opportunities and that's very gratifying," she said.
As part of a six-week program called "Kids Up Front," Pattie and other chefs combine lessons on good nutrition with basic kitchen skills. Everyone has fun and learns how to make wiser food choices. "Children who are introduced to healthy foods are twenty times more likely to choose healthy foods when they have the opportunity. You may have a student who was previously having a Twinkie and Pepsi for breakfast, now knows that cereal is a good idea," said Chase.
While Pattie now reaches just a handful of children, she hopes her impact will spread. "It may be that a student that I work with today ten years from now will teach her children how to make bread, how to make fruit drinks, how to cut up vegetables, how to eat right and that's enough for me," she beamed.
"Kids Up Front" is offered in a dozen states nationwide and is run by a national anti-hunger group called "Share Our Strength." The group enlists the help of hundreds of cooking professionals across the country to provide food and culinary education to people in need.
For more information contact:
Share Our Strength
1511 K Street
NW Suite 940
Washington, DC 20005