(Berkeley, CA) – Educators and activists agree that teaching children cooking skills can make a major impact on their life. But how can you teach children to cook when there are no kitchens, no cooking teachers, and no money to build the programs? That’s the challenge that has vexed Carolyn Federman her entire career as a food educator. With The Charlie Cart Project , a collaboration between Federman (Chez Panisse Foundation) and Brian Dougherty (Celery Design), she has found a way to make hands-on food education possible. The self-contained mobile kitchen rolls from classroom to classroom, and includes curriculum and training designed by The Edible Schoolyard Project, along with a full-range of kitchen tools donated by partners including Breville, OXO, and Williams-Sonoma.
“When cooking is integrated into the curriculum, academic subjects come alive,” said Alice Waters, The Charlie Cart Project Advisory Board. “With The Charlie Cart, children have the hands-on experience of preparing food and gathering together around the table, where they learn essential values of nourishment, communication, and generosity.”
The Charlie Cart Project is just shy of meeting their Kickstarter goal of $40,000 to roll out their pilot program into two California school districts. They need that extra push to fully fund the campaign and get the prototype Charlie Carts into classrooms by January 2015. With the help of their partnership with FoodCorps California and the Community Alliance for Family Farmers, The Charlie Cart Project is poised to make a huge impact on the health, education, and eating choices of a whole new generation.
After working for 15 years building gardens and teaching school children to cook with food activist Alice Waters, Charlie Cart co-founder, Carolyn Federman, began to search for an easier, more convenient approach to food education – one that didn’t involve fumbling with flimsy hotplates. After teaming up with Brian Dougherty of Celery Design, The Charlie Cart Project was born.
This compact, mobile kitchen is specially designed to create healthy kids through hands-on food education. The Charlie Cart comes equipped with everything needed for high-quality cooking and nutrition education in a easy-to-use, streamlined kit for educators everywhere. Even Michelin-starred chefs would covet this piece of equipment – it includes a cook module with a double induction burner and a Breville smart oven, a grey water pump system, and a full-range of kitchen equipment by OXO and Williams-Sonoma.
The Charlie Cart provides much more than food education. The hands-on experience gets school-aged children excited about eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods they’ve had a part in preparing, all while reinforcing academic connections to math, science, social studies, and more.
This exciting venture has amassed a renowned group of supporters including Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and Harold McGee, who sit on The Charlie Cart Project Advisory Board.
About The Charlie Cart Project:
The Charlie Cart Project was founded by Carolyn Federman and Brian Dougherty to make hands-on food education simple and accessible nationwide.
Carolyn worked with Alice Waters for nearly 15 years, running the Chez Panisse Foundation and developing food education programs. She has also worked with Jamie Oliver and Michael Pollan, and was a co-founder of the Berkeley Food Institute at UC Berkeley. She is a mom, with kids in middle and elementary school.
Brian co-founded Celery Design Collaborative, which now has studios in Berkeley, CA, and Paris, France. He’s recognized as a leader in design for positive impact. His work runs a wide gamut — from brand strategies, packaging design, products, and web experiences — focused around enabling sustainability and promoting social change. He is also the dad of a middle schooler.
The Charlie Cart Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization with fiscal sponsorship provided by the Edible Schoolyard Project. http://www.charliecart.com/