Meet Teen Chefs Jane and Eli

This organization has changed my perspective on life.

I have realized how important it is to help other people. Last week one of our clients came in and talked to the teen volunteers about the affect that Fox Valley Food for Health has had on her life. She told us how important it was to know that she didn’t have to worry about whether there was going to be food on the table for her and her family and whether it was going to be healthy or not. Knowing that I had made a difference in her treatment program by providing healthy meals made me feel very good about myself. She had showed me that what I’m doing truly does mean something to these people and their families. Teen Chef – Jane

To start off I love food and I love to cook!

For most of my life I never really looked at the nutritional facts listed on the back of the box of what I was consuming. My outlook on nutrition changed last year when I started volunteering at FVFFH. Volunteering has taught me many useful things that I will use in the future. I know so much more about nutrition and what to eat and what not to eat then I did before. I am thankful for my chance to help out with this organization. Teen Chef – Eli

 It’s teens like Jane and Eli that are making a difference in our community every week. They inspire the adult volunteers to be a part of their lives, and make sure the program continues to grow and serve the teens and clients alike. “These two teens are very self motivated, focused and ready to take on the next task often without being asked. Their understanding around correct culinary techniques, especially the use of flavors, is way beyond their years”, noted Penny Newkirk, a 30-year veteran of the culinary industry, and owner operator of Country Garden Cuisine.  Teen leadership is a crucial component to the success of FVFFH.

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Teen Leadership

A natural progression of the Healthy Meals Program and the Community Outreach Programs is the development in a more formal way of our Teen Leadership Program.

In addition to newly acquired cooking skills, teens learn about nutrition, locally grown food, healthy eating habits and the principles of food safety. They also learn the power of teamwork, integrity, responsibility and the power to make a difference as they give back to their community.

We have expanded our teen program to include high school teens with special needs. Hundreds and hundreds of pieces of Snapware are returned to us each week to be sanitized and reused. With the support of the local high school and some wonderful adult volunteers we are able to train teens with special needs to work in teams and in leadership positions to handle this critical task focus.