Leah's Pantry welcomed in the new year by delivering hundreds of Tenderloin Cooking School: Smart Meals for Smart Spaces to partners throughout San Francisco. The tremendous reception of the cookbook, demonstrated not only by strong community support and feedback, but also by so many of you providingfinancial support, has been a source of pride and excitement for our whole team. As we expected, the cookbook has a receptive audience outside the Tenderloin. My father-in-law emailed me today: "Ade, Love the Tenderloin cookbook, especially omelet in a mug recipe.Some in there I can do myself without any help." Way to go Tom!
Looking ahead our brains are swimming with new and existing projects. A possible theme to shape our year: innovative strategies to incorporate service with culinary education, often with a trauma-informed perspective. Some examples: public housing catering interns preparing meals for community members (Potrero Terrace and Annex, SF), re-entry clients on parole preparing healthy meals for clients attending evening programming (CASC, SF), and inner-city high school students preparing healthy snacks for their athletic teams (King Chavez HS, SD). In communities with high levels of environmental stress, providing a channel for our clients to take care of each other is deeply powerful and healing. As one resident of Potrero Housing Community remarked, "I can feel the love in these dinners that the catering interns make!"
As always, thanks for all of your support and encouragement!
In October 2014 we welcomed Program Coordinator Alex Neidenberg to the Leah's Pantry team. Originally from San Diego, Alex graduated from Lake Forest College where she received her BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Spanish. Before joining our team, Alex worked at North Beach Citizens and ran a weekly food pantry for nearby SRO residents. Alex is passionate about working with people and bringing awareness to underserved populations. She belives in the power of food and the importance of sharing meals to create stronger families and communities. Through Leah's Pantry, Alex is looking forward to helping Bay Area residnets learn basic health and wellness tools and how to incorporate these skills into their lives.
The building opened its doors on December 1st, 2014 with plans to house 130 formerly homeless veterans. We're proud to have been on hand to welcome 27 veterans to their new home with a healthy and hearty home-cooked meal.
Nutrition Education with Tenderloin Youth at De Marillac Academy
Leah's Pantry has been given the opportunity to continue our relationship with the innovative and dynamic school, De Marillac Academy. Our long-standing partnership with the tuition-free school has given us the opportunity to work with vulnerable youth and families in the Tenderloin neighborhood.
The Tenderloin Cooking School Celebrates a Successful Launch!
The Tenderloin Cooking School: Smart Meals for Small Spaces celebrated an overwhelmingly successful launch! The community support, outpouring of donations, personal stories and positive feedback we've received has been wonderful. Some of the memorable highlights include:
Donations are still coming in and Leah's Pantry staff and nutrition educators continue to distribute the cookbook to partners and residents within the Tenderloin neighborhood and surrounding areas. We'll continue to keep partners and donors updated on distribution and future fundraising and community events that give us the opportunity to continue providing such a valuable resource to the community.
In January, EatFresh.orgintroduced several new features. Already full of unique features dedicated to offering easy, online nutrition education and information to CalFresh eligible Californians and social services providers, the enhancements are a response to user feedback and designed to improve site functionality.
Users can now leave comments on recipes, change the yield, and view step-by-step photos for certain recipes. Development continues in March 2015, when we will redesign the home page, add a meal planner, and make room for the Eatfresh.org Online Curriculum.