Growing Chefs! Ontario is a registered charity based out of London, Ontario. They unite chefs, growers, educators and community members in children’s food education projects.
Growing Chefs! Was founded by Merri Schwartz, a professional pastry chef in September 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia. She founded Growing Chefs! as a tool to connect those chefs and growers to local communities, using a fun, empowering, educational program to do so. After getting involved with the program, restaurant manager Andrew Fleet began the pilot for the second chapter of Growing Chefs! in London Ontario.
For 10 years Growing Chefs has been working in the London, Ontario community to help get kids excited about cooking, preparing and sharing healthy food together. The charity has been running programs within schools for about 10 years, as well as several community agencies in London.
One of Growing Chefs’ main goals is to help provide an avenue for chefs and growers to get more involved in the community and help with supporting food education. They also look to provide children in the community with the knowledge and confidence to grow, prepare good and healthy cuisine.
One of the programs that they offer is a hot lunch program for several of the schools within the London, Ontario community. Through the use of their commercial kitchen – the Beet Cafe They prepare and deliver over 27,000 lunches hot and healthy lunches each year. They also offer recipes and educational classes for children
They host a variety of Food Education Projects and each month they offer events their own signature meals. These events are open to the public and the menu for these events are carefully crafted, with fresh local ingredients.
Remember that Growing Chefs is a grassroot organization and would not be able to function without the help of the community and volunteers. If you are looking to volunteer your time be sure to head over to their volunteer page and see the available volunteer positions.