Cooking for a Cause
“Poverty is not an accident…It is man made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” Nelson Mandela
Our Cooking for a Cause program begins in the classrooms of Dixie Hollins, Northeast, Osceola, and Tarpon High schools and the Clearwater and St. Petersburg Pinellas Technical College campuses by enriching the curriculum being taught with concepts including nutrition, menu planning, preparation, storage and service of food for the masses as well as the importance of philanthropy. The students then apply their knowledge in the kitchen and prepare meals on a rotating basis during the school year for Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP), a homeless shelter in Pinellas County serving 400+ men, women and children from infancy to 62+ years.
Within the schools, the program addresses the need to educate students with curriculum and hands-on application in preparation for post-secondary education and careers in the field, the need to educate students about homelessness in the community, the need to educate students about philanthropy, and the need for funding sources for food and equipment. Within the shelter, the project addresses the need to feed its homeless population, the need to prepare the homeless to find permanent housing therefore reducing the number of homeless in the county, and the need for funding sources for food.
Cooking for a Cause was launched in April 2014, with the initial goal of serving 6,400 meals by June 2015. With a couple challenges here and there, we are happy to announce we served a total of 5,400 meals!