While attending UChicago as an undergraduate, I mentored children as a part of a free tutoring program. I noticed one third-grade student, "Anna" often took three snacks during snack time, eating one and tucking the remaining two into her backpack. Concerned, I asked Anna about her habit. She explained she did not have snacks at home and wanted to bring some for her brothers. Soon, I noticed that Anna was not the only student dealing with food insecurity.
Moved to address this issue, I founded "Chicago Baking Buddies." This free program is designed to confront the economic disparities facing Hispanic and Black children in Chicago. We empower children by providing hands-on baking sessions and nutritional education, teaching them to make healthy snacks using vegetables. The response was overwhelmingly positive; parents appreciated the nutritious baked snacks and noticed their children developing an interest in eating vegetables. Through partnerships with a local bakeware company and two nonprofits, we have already provided accessible baking sessions and take-home kits for over 35 children without any financial burden on participating families.
The money will be used to fund ingredients for 3-4 baking sessions as well as more baking utensils.
Funded by Chicago, IL (October 2023)