With a Spring term like no other, Project CHEF met the school closures due to COVID-19 with optimism, challenges that transformed into opportunities, program transition and ultimately some hard decisions.
We believe, and research supports, involving the family in food preparation, growing your own food and dining together have many wellness and educational benefits, including learning math, science, language arts, social studies, and physical and health education. With these learning goals in mind, we moved much of our school-based program online.
We are hopeful that schools will be in session in the fall but can assume that even if they are, we will not be able to do what Project CHEF does so well. We bring children, teachers, parents and the community together in classroom kitchens to learn about, create and share healthy food together. The magic of the program is what we bring into the classrooms and create together. What makes Project CHEF like no other program is the synergy and power of these communal events, which necessarily involve close social interaction. In the time of COVID-19 and social distancing, we believe that this will not be possible.
With this information and to be fiscally responsible to our donors, we have made the difficult decision to suspend operations as of June. We cannot make plans for a fall program that may not happen.
Though we will not be cooking up learning in the schools, we whole-heartedly endorse cooking as a family activity. Project CHEF’s values of cooking and eating as a family have taken on increasing importance in light of this crisis. To that end, we encourage you to check the many resources we have created in response to the pandemic and have posted on our website.
We have uploaded over a hundred of our recipes, lessons on growing food, curriculum-based learning activities, videos to teach cooking skills and kitchen safety, a number of links to websites we love, Project CHEF recommended cookbooks and also other food related fiction and non-fiction books of interest to children, families and teachers. You can find a feast of food-related learning on the Project CHEF website.
Our team looks forward to seeing children, families and teachers in the Project CHEF classroom kitchens again soon but in the meantime we look forward to connecting with you online.
Founder and Director
Project CHEF Education Society