Brainfood Awarded $50,000 Grant from the Economic Club of Washington
Youth development organization will use funds to open Brainfood Innovation Center and urban garden
Washington, D.C., May 7, 2012 –Brainfood (www.brain-food.org), a youth development organization that uses food to teach life skills and healthy living to teenagers, today announced that the Economic Club of Washington has awarded Brainfood a 25th Anniversary Grant (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2012/05/04/gIQA7L3J6T_print.html ) in the amount of $50,000 to support the launch of the Brainfood Innovation Center & Youth Garden.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Economic Club of Washington and its members, the leaders of the Washington metro business community, as an organization that is identifying innovative solutions to the challenges facing our youth and the community,” said Paul Dahm, executive director of Brainfood. “This grant enables Brainfood to better prepare youth to meet the increasing demand for access to local, sustainable and healthy food.”
The Brainfood Innovation Center will be the organization’s third facility in the District and enables it to replicate current after school and summer programs while developing new initiatives that connect food and cooking to real opportunities for young adults. The goal of the Innovation Center is to identify pathways to meaningful food-related careers, including urban agriculture, food preparation and production, and healthy cooking workshops.
“The Brainfood Innovation Center will bridge the gap between employers’ need for high caliber job applicants and the young adults who want to work, but haven’t yet been given the tools,” said Susan Lacz, CEO of Ridgewells Catering and one of the members of the Economic Club of Washington that nominated Brainfood for this grant. “We hope to see many Brainfood graduates joining the workforce and the Ridgewells team in the coming years.”
Since 1999, Brainfood has used food and cooking to teach life skills and healthy living to teenagers. Through experiential, hands-on activities, Brainfood teaches youth to be responsible and accountable, and to communicate, manage time and live up to a culture of high expectations while learning to prepare flavorful, healthy food. Brainfood Community MVPs, a youth-driven program created in 2011, prepares participants to teach their peers how to cook healthier meals, addressing a diet-related epidemic impacting the local community. The Brainfood Grill-Off is the organization’s signature annual fundraising event. For more information, visit www.brain-food.org, www.facebook.com/brainfoodDC or follow on Twitter @BrainfoodDC.