Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore (BGCMB) has partnered with Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) and acclaimed chef Jasmine Norton to address food accessibility challenges in Baltimore through Dole's Sunshine for All® Cities Program
Designed to bring healthy foods and nutrition education to those who lack access, the program will center around the Dole Kids Cooking Camp, bi-weekly classes taught by acclaimed local chef and owner of The Urban Oyster, Jasmine Norton, at BGCMB's Webster Kendrick Club (4130 Callaway Avenue). Classes will cover basic cooking skills, healthy recipe preparation, and smart grocery shopping and meal planning tips.
Baltimore was selected because of its rate of food insecurity – one in four Baltimore residents are food insecure, and one in every three children live in a food desert (areas that lack access to full-service grocery stores, farmers' markets, and other vendors that sell nutritious fruits and vegetables).
"As a brand that is deeply committed to making the world a better place and bringing a little sunshine to all, we are excited to continue our work to address food insecurity in Baltimore," said JC Dalto, President & Managing Director, Americas, Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. "Together, with the help of incredible local partners who share our passion to drive positive change, I believe we will make a lasting impact on the Baltimore community and be one step closer to achieving the nutrition goals stated in the Dole Promise."
"I'm thrilled to partner with Dole to help combat food accessibility and insecurity in the city that I call home,'' says Chef Jasmine Norton. "Working with the children at Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore has been the highlight of my year. These kids are bright, talented, and excited to learn how to make healthy recipes. They are the future of the Baltimore community and I'm honored to serve in this program."
In the coming weeks, Sunshine for All will expand to include farmers' markets offering affordable locally grown produce and the distribution of nutritious smoothies from Smoothie King. DSC is also funding a pilot home orchard project in partnership with the Baltimore Orchard Project.
"We are excited to partner with Dole to develop young people's capacity to make healthy choices about food and by extension, nurture their social, emotional and physical well-being into adulthood," said Jeff Breslin, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. "We look forward to growing and deepening our collaboration as they bring their Dole Promise to bear in Baltimore."
Baltimore is the second destination for DSC's Sunshine for All Cities Program. Since its debut in Jackson, MS, the program has provided 18,000+ people with access to healthy foods and nutrition and culinary education. To learn how to get involved in Baltimore, visit sunshineforall.com.