Evaluating Our Impact

Brainfood programs provide high school aged youth the opportunity to learn about food, nutrition, cooking, and jobs in the food industry through activities, games, restaurant visits, cooking in our kitchen, and working with guest chefs.

We know Brainfood has a positive impact on our youth from the stories of change we hear from participants – and from the data we gather at the end of the program. We use this data to assess our impact, share what’s working best, and expand and improve our programs.

Evaluation Measures

Brainfood uses several evaluation measures to capture progress and growth made by students in the program.  These include:

  • Pre and Post evaluation surveys, which measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and behavior.
  • Qualitative evaluation matrices, which track participant progress in four developmental skill sets.
  • Process evaluations, which gather feedback from participants on how to improve or alter the program to better fit their needs.

 

Brainfood continues to pilot new methods and explore best practices for evaluation of youth development programs.  During the 2009-2010 program year, Brainfood piloted a new pre and post evaluation survey, based on the California Healthy Kids Survey.  This new survey was adopted as a result of the partnership with the Applied Evaluation Masters Program at Johns Hopkins University.

Program Highlights

The following data was collected from Brainfood process evaluations and results from the California Healthy Kids Survey, to provide a snapshot of the skills and assets that students have after participating in Brainfood programs. 

After participating in 2012 Brainfood Summer Institute:

  • 76% of participants rated their cooking skills as “I can cook anything” or “I’m pretty good” this compared to 37% at the beginning of the 5-week program!
  • 86% of participants reported they always feel confident using a chef’s knife safely.
  • 90% of participants reported they could stand up for themselves without putting others down.
  • 90% of participants reported there are many things that they do well.
  • 89% of participants share what they learned at Brainfood with friends and family.
  • 90% of participants feel like they can work with someone who has different opinions than theirs.
  • 81% of participants reported they can work out their problems, 100% reported they know where to go if they need help to work out their problems.
  • 100% of participants reported they plan to graduate from High School and go to college or some other school after high school.
     

After participating in 2012-2013 Brainfood Kitchen All Stars:

  • 75% of participants rated their cooking skills as “I can cook anything” or “I’m pretty good”.  This compared to 38% in September!
  • The number of participants who rated themselves as only being able to cook “a few things” at the beginning of the program (50%) decreased by the end (25%) and the number of participants who rated themselves as “I don’t know how to cook” dropped from 13% to 0%.
  • 86% of participants reported that when they have a problem, they can work it out
  • 89% of participants reported that they are willing to try new foods “always” or “most of the time”.
  • 93% of participants reported they try to understand what other people go through.
  • 95% of participants reported they have goals and plans for the future.
  • 95% of participants reported they plan to graduate from high school.
  • 95% of participants reported they plan to go to college or some other school after high school.
  • 91% of participants reported they can do most things if they try.
  • 86% of participants reported that they share what they learn at Brainfood with their friends and family.

 

After participating in 2011-2012 Brainfood Kitchen All Stars:

  • 75% of participants rated their cooking skills as “I can cook anything” or “I’m pretty good” This compared to 38% in September!
  • 89% of participants reported they could work out their problems.
  • 86% of participants reported that they are willing to try new foods “always” or “most of the time”.
  • 80% of participants reported they can work with someone who has different opinions than them.
  • 93% of participants reported they have goals and plans for the future and 100% plan to go to college or some other school after high school.
  • 98% of participants reported they can do most things if they try.
  • 88% of participants reported that they share what they learn at Brainfood with their friends and family.
  • 86% of participants reported they could stand up for themselves without putting others down.
  • 95% of participants reported there are many things that they do well.

 

After participating in 2011 Brainfood Summer Institute:

  • 82% of participants rated their cooking skills as “I can cook anything” or “I’m pretty good” This compared to 43% in September!
  • 82% of participants reported they could work out their problems.
  • 88% of participants reported that they are willing to try new foods “always” or “most of the time”.
  • 65% of participants reported they can work with someone who has different opinions than them.
  • 100% of participants reported they have goals and plans for the future, plan graduate from high school and plan to go to college or some other school after high school.
  • 88% of participants reported they can do most things if they try.
  • 100% of participants reported that they share what they learn at Brainfood with their friends and family.
  • 82% of participants reported they could stand up for themselves without putting others down.
  • 94% of participants reported there are many things that they do well.

 

After participating in 2010-2011 Brainfood After School:

  • 82% of participants rated their cooking skills as “I can cook anything” or “I’m pretty good” This compared to 43% in September!
  • 73% of participants reported they could work out their problems.
  • 96% of participants reported that they are willing to try new foods “always” or “most of the time”.
  • 87% of participants reported they can work with someone who has different opinions than them.
  • 98% of participants reported they have goals and plans for the future, plan graduate from high school and plan to go to college or some other school after high school.
  • 98% of participants reported they can do most things if they try.
  • 89% of participants reported that they share what they learn at Brainfood with their friends and family.
  • 84% of participants reported they could stand up for themselves without putting others down.
  • 87% of participants reported there are many things that they do well.

 

After participating in 2010 Brainfood Summer Institute:

  • 100% of participants reported they could work out their problems.
  • 94% of participants reported that they are willing to try new foods “always” or “most of the time”.
  • 100% of participants reported they enjoy working with other students their age.
  • 78% of participants rated their cooking skills as “I can cook anything” or “I’m pretty good”.
  • 94% of participants reported they can do most things if they try.
  • 100% of participants reported they plan to go to college or some other school after high school.
  • 100% of participants reported there are many things that they do well.

 

After participating in 2009-2010 Brainfood After School:

  • 75% of participants rated their cooking skills as “I can cook anything” or “I’m pretty good” in May. This is compared to 20% in September!
  • 85% of participants reported they could work out their problems
  • 89% of participants reported that they are willing to try new foods “always” or “most of the time”
  • 72% of participants reported they can work with someone who has different opinions than them
  • 92% of participants reported they have goals and plans for the future.
  • 94% of participants reported they plan to go to college or some other school after high school.
  • 85% of participants reported there are many things that they do well.

Want to see more results?

Click here to download our Program Executive Summaries from past programs.