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Celebrity Chefs Visit Food Literacy Center

On Wednesday, celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters and Ann Cooper visited Sacramento to raise awareness about the need for food literacy education in schools. The three have made food literacy their primary concern.

While in town, the chefs made time to meet and cook with elementary students in our food literacy program at Pacific Elementary. Our kids and Food Literacy Geniuses made lunch for our VIP guests, and the students showed off what they’ve learned during a cooking demonstration with Chef Oliver. The event was a collaboration with The California Endowment, which generously funds Food Literacy Center and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.

Why Food Literacy Matters

Forty percent of Sacramento kids struggle with childhood obesity. Only six percent eat their recommended daily fruits and veggies. In four local schools, our Food Literacy Center program reaches 600 low-income elementary students each week with hands-on cooking and nutrition classes.

During our holiday Fund-a-School Drive the Sacramento community stepped forward and helped us raise enough money to expand to 10 schools in 2015! THANK YOU to everyone who made our mission—and our kids—a priority. If you didn’t get a chance to donate, you still can! There’s lots of work to be done to train Food Literacy Geniuses and evaluate the program as we expand. Please donate here.

Highlights, Photos & News Clips

We’re thrilled to share some of the highlights of the visit with you:

The Sacramento Bee ran a story about the visit

Visit our Facebook page to view a photo album from the day. A big broccoli cartwheel of thanks to Marita Madeloni of Madeloni Photography for her talent capturing the day on camera!

Check out the recipes we cooked our celebrities. These are recipes that we make in class with our students. We were so proud to hear Alice Waters glowing about the flavors as she scooped a second helping onto her plate. Happy potato pride goes out to Food Literacy Geniuses Brenda Ruiz and Maria Zefo for preparing the meal with our students! A flowering kale kick of thanks to Produce Express, who donated all the produce for our meal. Our partner, Soil Born Farms, took part in the day by setting up a tour of the school garden. Our lucky kids get exposure to both food literacy classes and a gardening program at Pacific Elementary.

KCRA3 captured our kids in this news clip.


“The meal was terrific and we were all so moved by the students and wildly impressed by the richness of your programming.”

“The kids were adorable and the celebrity chefs were engaging but my favorite part was you and seeing the passion you have for the work you do.”

“We’ve traveled all over the world, and we’ve never seen anything like this program!”

THANK YOU, Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters & Ann Cooper! It was an amazing honor to meet our food literacy heroes and to watch them in action with our students. We’re thrilled that they have made food literacy their priority!

Written by Amber Stott. Photos courtesy of Marita Madeloni; Madeloni Photography

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