Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Food, What?!" September Photo of the Month

Sunday night at our annual FoodWhat Benefit Dinner, we had $25,000 in matching grants offered if we could raise $25K at the event. It is our absolute joy to share that thanks to the incredible generosity of the 250 friends, mentors, supporters...new and longtime FoodWhat Family folks...we met and surpassed the match!  Together we raised over $60,000 to fuel our work with youth!

The success of Sunday night was far greater than just the financial support so generously shared.  It was also in the youth stepping into their power to share their story--to be validated and celebrated by so many in the community listening and focusing on their words--in the nourishing meal that we all got to share together--and in the continual community we are collectively building.

As we celebrate the turning point of the seasons today through the Fall Equinox, Sunday night also marked a turning point for FoodWhat.  Sunday night we received our first donation from an alumni youth (from our very first year) who came as a guest and is now a professional and a peer doing youth empowerment and food justice work in Oakland.

And we can't help but share the additional good news that two youth landed jobs because of the Benefit.  Talk about added value!  Estephanie will be working with Jamie of FoodSmith, and Ziah was offered a job by Chris of El Salchichero!

Deep appreciation to all who joined us and made Sunday such a special night!

(If you were unable to attend and would like to contribute to this amazing momentum in support of our work, please click the "Donate" link below, and we look forward to spending time with you sometime soon!)
Huge gratitude to the superstar chefs and local partners who supported this event!

Friday, August 29, 2014

"Food, What?!" August Photo of the Month

Outstanding 2014 FoodWhat Summer Job Training Program!
Final week on the farm (top).
Closing dinner to celebrate youth and their families (bottom).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer 2014 Final Dinner!

Our final dinner was a huge hit! 
All of our friends, family, and folks who supported us throughout the summer gathered at the FoodWhat farm to celebrate the summer with us, ending the program on a perfect note. 

We kicked the night off with a warm welcome to our guests and giving huge props to the FoodWhat crew for completing the summer program. Celebrating such amazing accomplishments meant an equally amazing meal, made from ingredients mostly grown by the FoodWhat crew themselves. All of our hard work brought veggie lasagna, spicy string beans, and bountiful salad to the table.

With full bellies, we heard some personal testimonies from our team. We heard stories of new inspiration from attending the RIC Conference (Rooted in Community) in New Mexico, healthier lifestyles, and improved work ethic. We celebrated our summer growth with warm berry crumble for dessert.

Next up, we gave huge thanks to those who supported us throughout the program. Huge shout outs went to the FoodWhat Staff, Junior staff, and all of our supporters from the extended community joining us that night.

Then it was our turn to look back on the work we did throughout the summer with a rad slideshow to give our friends and family a peak into the incredible work we did over the summer. Abby and Roanna handed out cookbooks with all of our photos from the year to look back on our experiences and keep cooking FoodWhat style at home. Leo, Abby, Roanna, and Doron gave props to each individual on the crew for goals they had accomplished and the personal strengths they brought to the team as a whole. With a last congratulations, Roanna presented everyone with their fall job to continue working as part of the FoodWhat team with a more specialized position come September.

Congratulations to the 2014 Summer Crew!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Learn about our BLASTS!

Once a week during the summer program, the FoodWhat Crew participates in a BLAST.  You might be wondering... what is a BLAST?  Well each Wednesday, we go to a different school or community garden and help fix up the gardens.  This is especially helpful for schools that do not have garden staff over the summer; when the kids come back in the fall, the garden is not totally over grown and unruly! 

"Knowing we can help out is definitely an honor." -Miguel

So far this summer, we have "BLASTED" at: Bay View Elementary, Pajaro Valley High, Mesa Verde in Watsonville, Pacific Elementary, DeLaveaga Elementary, Costanoa High, Branciforte Middle School, and Bonny Doon Elementary.

Here are some examples of before and afters: