The Charlie Cart Project enables schools to deliver the food and nutrition education that students need.

Today, many children in this country take their main – and sometimes only – meals at school. They are not eating together with their families, and they don't know where their food comes from. Over the course of their lifetime, their food choices will impact not only their own health, but the health of their communities and the environment.  

The Charlie Cart Project provides the tools and knowledge children need to make healthy choices for life. Cooking is an ideal medium for learning: it is hands-on, engaging and rewarding. Hands-on learning promotes success across disciplines and develops collaboration, critical thinking skills, and subject mastery. 

The Charlie Cart Project complements programs where gardens or limited cooking are already place, and provides an easy point of entry for schools that are just getting started with food education. 


More than 300 people joined together to help launch the Charlie Cart Project in November 2014. See the story of how we got started!

Where in the world is The Charlie Cart Project? We're now in 40+ sites around the country.

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What's Included



Tough little kitchen on wheels includes:
  • Convection oven and induction cooktop
  • Stainless steel rinse station with spray nozzle pump and grey water recovery
  • Smallwares for each lesson (whisks, measuring utensils, mortar + pestle, etc.)
  • Storage to contain everything you need to deliver the cooking lessons in one place
  • Power and electrical system optimized for classroom use
  • One year fit-and-finish warranty

Curriculum delivers:
  • A set of 54 lesson plans for K-5, aligned to Common Core standards in math, humanities and English Language Arts; and Next Generation Science Standards
  • Simple, seasonal recipes that support foundational cooking skills
  • Cross disciplinary connections between food, health and the environment
  • Developed by a team of curriculum experts, professional chefs and educators

Meet the teachers of The Charlie Cart Program

Brianna Dumas, RDN, LD

Wellness and Farm to School Dietitian
Burke County Public Schools
Waynesboro, GA

As a dietitian, working in school nutrition is such a dream. Every day I get the chance to help mold current and future eating habits, whether it’s through school lunch, taste tests, or in-class cooking demonstrations.

Read more >

Laura Nicholls

Teacher, Lincoln Elementary School
Ventura Unified School District
Ventura, CA

"It is important to show kids how to eat a variety of foods early! It is also great when the kids can grow, harvest and present the food all on their own!"

Read more >

Dana Mitchel

Nutrition Manager
Lowcountry Food Bank
Charleston, SC

"My dream was to have a mobile teaching kitchen in which we could teach families to prepare tasty meals that were both healthy and affordable no matter our setting."

Read more >

Learn more about our work, our team, and how to participate.

Get Involved

RESERVE for 2017. Order now!

We're partnering with NGOs, school districts, and foundations nationwide. Want to collaborate? Contact us.

Help us scale up the Project with a tax deductible donation.

Carolyn Federman, Founder and Executive Director

Carolyn has worked in food education for more than a decade. She led Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard Project, developed programming with the Jamie Oliver Foundation, co-founded the Berkeley Food Institute, and co-produced UC Berkeley's Edible Education course with Michael Pollan before founding the Charlie Cart Project in 2014.  

Lily Sheridan, Program Coordinator

Since graduating with a Master's Degree in Food, Culture and Communications, Lily has been a food educator with some of the most well established nutrition education programs in the country, working with children in grades Pre-K- 8. Lily's previous experience includes program coordination and and teaching with Cooking With Kids, a Santa Fe, New Mexico nonprofit that uses hands-on learning to educate and empower children and families to make healthy food choices. She has been an active volunteer with Food Shift;  Kitchen Table Advisors, The Boulder Valley School Foods Project, a nutrition education program; Local Foods for Lewiston; and the Trinity Jubilee Soup Kitchen. Lily stays connected to direct service by teaching Food & Agricultural Sciences part-time at Children's Day School in San Francisco.  Lily holds a Master's from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy and a B.A. in Sociology from Bates College. 

SiewChinn Chin, Chef Educator

SiewChinn spent eight years honing her craft in the pastry department at Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, CA, and after nearly a decade working under the tutelage of Alice Waters, expanded her work to the science of fermentation. She is currently the Pickle Master at Oakland's famed Ramen Shop, where the pickle plate changes daily and is one of the most popular items on the menu. A chemist turned pastry chef, turned pickle master, SiewChinn left a long career in food science to focus on cooking. As chef-educator with the Charlie Cart Project, SiewChinn provides recipe development and testing, and co-leads our on-site training programs, making sure everything is simple, nutritious and above all, tasty! 


The Charlie Cart was designed by Brian Dougherty, Principal Creative Director at Celery Design Collaborative. He is the author of Green Graphic Design and a frequent lecturer on sustainable design. 


Advisory Board

Carrie Varoquiers, President, Workday Foundation; Founder of Giving Comfort

Alice Waters, Founder of Chez Panisse Restaurant; Founder and President of Edible Schoolyard Project; Vice President of Slow Food International; Author and Activist

Matthew Wadiak, Chef, Founder and COO, Blue Apron; Advocate for Sustainable Agriculture

Carina Wong, Deputy Director of Education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 

Kimberly Yorio, Founder and President, YC  Media, Strategist and Publicist for cookbook authors, chefs and culinary brands

Olivier De Schutter, Professor, University of Louvain, Belgium, and Sciences Po, Paris; Member, EAT Scientific Advisory Board; UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food 2008-2014

Bob Martin, Program Director, Food System Policy Program, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future 

Harold McGee, Author of On Food and Cooking, the Science and Lore of the Kitchen

Michael Pollan, Author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and Cooked; Professor and Director of Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley

I serve on The Charlie Cart Project Advisory Board because: When cooking is integrated into the curriculum, academic subjects come alive, and students effortlessly absorb their lessons. With the Charlie Cart, children have the hands-on experience of preparing food and gathering together around the table, where they learn the essential values of nourishment, communication, and generosity.
— Alice Waters
I serve on The Charlie Cart Project Advisory Board because: We’ve got to educate the next generation about the connections between food, health and the environment if we hope to solve the major challenges of our time. The Charlie Cart is the right idea at the right time to introduce this kind of education into schools everywhere.
— Michael Pollan
I serve on The Charlie Cart Project Advisory Board because: Cooking is an effective, instantly appealing activity through which students of all ages can explore the natural materials that nourish us, and the laws of nature that cooks work with to make them delicious. The Charlie Cart Project will help make science more real and interesting and memorable than most standard curricula do—and just as importantly, it will encourage students to think about what they eat.
— Harold McGee

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