Our Foods to Families: Kids in the Kitchen Committee has been busy over the past few months. They’ve been planning six-week long curriculum plans over the summer to be used for Methodist Services Kids in the Kitchen program. “We really hit the ground running with our first meeting in August. We do a lot of the leg work earlier and try to reach out to those in the committee often with updates,” said Committee Co-Chair Laura Riechl.
Compared to last year, the committee has focused on preparing as much as possible in advance to ensure an impact-filled Junior League year. “We try to get things planned ahead of time, so we have something to work with, because once they start the program with the kids, there isn’t a lot of time to reorient,” said Co-Chair Monica DiRenzo.
The program educates Philadelphia-area children on the delightful and creative aspects of making healthy food enjoyable. In addition to providing curriculum, every week the committee also supplies cutlery and food to go along with the lesson. Carole Boughter, the executive director of Methodist Services, emphasized the impact the JLP has made on their organization: “The Junior League of Philadelphia has been instrumental in helping Methodist Services shape effective learning mechanisms for students and instructors.”
In September, the committee held a special event at Methodist Services, providing a behind-the-scenes perspective of how Methodist Services programs, such as Kids in the Kitchen, aid in the battle against food insecurity. DiRenzo thought it was a valuable opportunity for members of the League to see the inner workings of Methodist Services.
Over the years the Kids in the Kitchen Committee has modified and evolved their program based on the needs of Methodist Services and has grown to become an integral part of their organization. “It’s really amazing to see what our partners do and the good things they have to say about the Junior League,” Laura Riechl said. She noted Methodist Services recently built a community garden with funds supplied by a grant from the JLP.
Methodist Services and the Kids in the Kitchen alike are excited to what is ahead of them in the new year.