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American Libraries

American Libraries

A Movable Feast: Libraries use Mobile Kitchens to Teach Food Literacy

By Lara Ewen

When the Camden County (N.J.) Library System (CCLS) expanded in 2011–2012 from six branches to eight, its newest buildings were opened in the city of Camden—an area that CCLS Director Linda Devlin identifies as a food desert.

“The city of Camden has only one grocery store, and most city residents rely on small stores and bodegas for food,” says Devlin. “These stores have a more limited supply of healthy food, which limits meal planning.”

Inspired by a visit to the nearby Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Devlin decided to develop a mobile culinary literacy program for CCLS called Books and Cooks. The program, which began in late 2016, was initially funded through a one-year, $59,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Adult Literacy and Community Library Partnership pilot program.

New Favorites for New Cooks

Our cookbook has arrived! Ideal for kids 8 and up, New Favorites for New Cooks is a smart, fun, lavishly illustrated cookbook with 50 kid-tested recipes that engage children's natural inclination for adventure. Written by Charlie Cart Founder Carolyn Federman, a leader in the field of food education, the book uses fresh, seasonal ideas for breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks to teach basic cooking skills, complemented by instructional photography and a full glossary of cooking terms. Borrowing from the Charlie Cart Project curriculum, where delicious, wholesome recipes are simplified for the classroom, these dishes are easy for kids to make, without compromising flavor. Pick up a copy today and get your kids hands-on in the kitchen!

Eating Well

Eating Well

Jacques Pépin's Simple Advice for Parents: Teach Your Kids to Cook

By: Angela Arsenault

Celebrated chef Jacques Pépin didn't set out to write a cookbook with his granddaughter, Shorey. He simply wanted to include her in the experience of cooking. "From the moment she was about 3, 4, 5 years old we started hanging out together, whether it was in the kitchen or in the garden or even at the market," says Pépin. His goal, really, was to involve her in identifying and handling ingredients, which he says is a great place for anyone to start when it comes to kids and cooking.

The beautifully rendered results of Pépin's efforts can be found in his cookbook, A Grandfather's Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey, and in a companion video series featuring the chef and his granddaughter on Surlatable.com.

You may be tempted to say, "Sure, a professional chef would have an easy time of getting any kid interested in cooking. What about the rest of us?" But the beauty of Pépin's advice is that is has almost nothing to do with creating world-class meals.

 

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Cooking up healthy recipes and teaching culinary skills at a children’s cancer hospital

By Sarah Bennett

When Audra Wilford’s 4-year-old son Max was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in 2011, she did the only thing she could think to do to increase his quality of life — she cooked.

The Tustin mother of two attended culinary school and worked in the restaurant industry before starting her career in higher education, so she knew the importance of a healthy diet. She also knew that showing her son how to prepare therapeutic meals himself would empower him to not only eat better, but more.

The Augusta Chronicle

The Augusta Chronicle

To Secretary Perdue: School nutrition successes already happening in Georgia

By Donna Martin

It’s lunchtime at Blakeney Elementary School in Burke County, just 35 miles south of Augusta. More than 800 students are buzzing with excitement, thanks to our school nutrition changes.

Each day our cafeteria team members take pride in our lunch participation rate – more than nine out of 10 of our students eat our cafeteria lunches. That’s just one statistic that illustrates the hard work our staff puts into serving students healthy meals and that our kids are eating our healthy school lunches.

That’s why I was so surprised to hear Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently dust off the antiquated excuse that “kids won’t eat healthy food” when he moved to delay the enactment of school nutrition standards. And when Perdue specifically claimed kids won’t eat whole grains, I had to wonder where he’s getting his information.

The Daily Ranger

The Daily Ranger

Nonprofit helps instill cooking skills

By Alejandra Silva

At one table of the science classroom, second-grader Caleb Logan cut fresh herbs with a small, round, serrated knife. At another table, fourth-grader Georgina Spoonhunter used a handheld grater for the cheese. 

The Arapahoe Elementary School students are part of the Arapahoe Odyssey Cooking and Gardening classes of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program. They are participating in an after-school cooking program thanks to the Charlie Cart Project, a nationwide nonprofit initiative developed in 2014.

The Mercury News

The Mercury News

School incorporates cooking into learning

By Kevin Kelly

Eating nutritious meals is essential for young minds that are in the process of learning. Eating while learning might be even better.

A Menlo Park kindergarten classroom since March has been doubling as a mobile kitchen pumping out fresh meals for kids and their parents. That’s thanks to Charlie Cart, described as a mobile kitchen classroom that connects lessons in math, science, social studies and language arts with cooking and food preparation. Charlie Cart was founded in 2014 by Carolyn Federman, who previously worked on Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley.

KQED Arts

KQED Arts

Local Librarian Receives National Honor for Work at San Francisco Library

A local librarian received a national honor Wednesday night for her work providing cooking demonstrations and other programs at the San Francisco Public Library.

Lia Kharis Hillman was one of 10 librarians who was honored with the I Love My Librarian award at a ceremony in New York City. A former chef who worked at many local restaurants, Hillman was nominated for creating garden and food education programs in library branches across the city. Her goal was to help underserved families learn the importance of cooking at home by showing how self-prepared meals lead to good health.

"This whole thing is completely blowing my mind. People really want to learn these skills, but it goes beyond that — they're astonished at how easy and accessible it all is, and how little time it takes," Hillman said.

The Post and Courier

The Post and Courier

Lowcountry Food Bank rolls out mobile kitchen

By Hanna Raskin

When the Lowcountry Food Bank in January purchased a Charlie Cart, using grant money from The Boeing Co., it became the first hunger relief organization to own one. The first batch of carts were distributed late last year to schools, which Mitchel points out have different requirements than a food bank.

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Public Library Rolls Out Biblio Bistro (The Charlie Cart!) for Lessons on Cooking

By Lizzie Johnson

Seven years ago, a tiny garden of mixed greens and vegetables was planted in the children’s area at the Mission Branch Library. But the kids were befuddled about what to do with the produce.

That’s when program manager Lia Hillman realized there was a disconnect between healthy food and the ability to cook it, especially for youngsters and families using hot plates in single room occupancy units. So the former chef bought a Charlie Cart — a mobile kitchen equipped with burners, an oven and utensils — and set out to teach library patrons how to saute, sear and score.

San Francisco Business Times

San Francisco Business Times

Alice Waters, Michael Pollan support nonprofit's innovative cart to help schools eat healthier

By Annie Sciacca

First, there was the chuckwagon — the mobile kitchen of the pioneers. Now, a collaboration between Berkeley-based product designer Brian Dougherty and former Chez Panisse Foundation (now called The Edible Schoolyard Project) executive director Carolyn Federman is a new iteration: the Charlie Cart.

FastCompany FastCoExist

FastCompany FastCoExist

A Mobile Kitchen Designed To Help Kids Learn To Like Their Vegetables

By Adele Peters

A lot of energy goes into school gardens these days. But what about the other half of the healthy eating equation?

Kids who hate spinach or kale are proven to eat more of it after they've used it in a cooking class, and hands-on classes can also help fight childhood obesity and diabetes. But it's fairly rare that elementary or middle schools have kitchens for students to use, either from a lack of budget or lack of space. The challenge inspired the design of the new Charlie Cart, a low-cost mobile kitchen that can move from classroom to classroom or even outdoors.

Roll ’em, Giada Weekly

Roll ’em, Giada Weekly

Roll 'em

From The Sharing Issue of Giada Weekly

Carolyn Federman is no stranger to the rewards and challenges of teaching kids about food, having worked with The Edible Schoolyard Project for 15 years. Her newest undertaking, The Charlie Cart Project, aims to get kids of all ages cooking by providing classrooms with the means to make and serve their own meals. We spoke to Caroline about her project and how we can all get involved. 

Berkeleyside

Berkeleyside

The Charlie Cart: A little kitchen for every classroom

By Claire Perry 

The Charlie Cart’s brightly colored panels invite the eye and its sturdy wheels imply it’s ready for adventure. Designed by Berkeley’s Brian Dougherty, the cart is a compact, mobile kitchen at the heart of a project — supported by no less than Alice Waters and Michael Pollan — that includes the equipment, lesson plans, and training to get kids cooking in the classroom..