The Ceres Community Project is a California non-profit that supports low-income people living with serious health challenges and empowers teens to cook healthy meals and serve their communities. Volunteer teens prepare nourishing organic meals that are home-delivered for free or at low cost (based on client income).
The teens genuinely participate in the planning and decision-making of the organization: in addition to planning and decisions in the kitchen, two youth serve as voting members on the Ceres Board of Directors. Teens can also join the Ceres Youth Leadership Program to gain additional skills in leadership, peer teaching and public speaking.
As a result of their hard work, the teens’ eating habits and those of their clients change, health outcomes improve and healthcare costs decrease, creating a future with healthier people and fewer illnesses. Additionally, the 3,700 families and individuals who receive Ceres meals benefit from not only the nutrition (about 80% of cancer patients struggle with malnutrition) but also from caring interaction that reduces stress and isolation.
Ceres also offers community education in nutrition, cooking and the benefits of organic and locally grown food through classes, a cookbook and community partnerships. Since 2009, Ceres has been supporting like-minded groups in communities across the country, partnering with and inspiring several new organizations based on the Ceres model.
The Simply Organic Giving Fund has supported the Ceres Community Project with grants of $10,000 to $15,000 in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2019, the grant was directed toward the Youth Development Garden Program, from which much of the food is prepared by the teens and delivered to the clients' homes.
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