A few months ago, I was asked to be on the advisory board for an innovative new program called Meals for Change. I'll admit that I initially said yes because of the esteemed company that I'd be in. The other advisory board members are Fritjof Capra, Temra Costa, Dominique Crenn, Cathy Curtis, Ari Derfel, Deborah Koons Garcia, Peggy Knickerbocker, Jill Litwin, Raj Patel, and (ho, hum) Michael Pollan.
The reason that it has such an illustrious advisory board, I believe, is a direct result of the innovative vision that Meals for Change is showing. It's a simple idea: Meals for Change is a program being run out of Bay Area Community Services (BACS). BACS runs Alameda County's Meals on Wheels programs, among other nutrition and health programs for adults. BACS has a focus on farm-to-institution programs and is using local purveyors for their meal ingredients, which is remarkable. When it was noticed that the BACS kitchens are only used for a certain number of hours per day, great minds got together to figure out what else could come out of this commercial kitchen.
And Meals for Change was born.
Meals for Change is a line of ready-to-eat entrees that will be available to all of us in local grocery stores. They are made from local ingredients, and by cooks who are learning in a culinary education program (overseen by a fantastic full-time chef). The proceeds of these meals will go back into BACS and will help to provide more meals for the underprivileged and suffering.
So, it's eating delicious meals with a social mission which is exciting.
The first Meals for Change meals went out to stores this week. You can find them at:
Delano's IGA, Rainbow Grocery, Real Foods, Cow Hollow, Real Foods, Russian Hill, and via Planet Organics deliveries.
Further, if you're interested in hearing more about this dynamic program, please come to the Commonwealth Club panel on Wednesday October 14:
Meals for Change: A new paradigm for non-profit sustainability.
Bhram Ahmadhi, People's Grocery
Larry Bearg, Planet Organics
Kent Ellsworth, Executive Director, BACS
Dominique Crenn, Executive Chef, Luce
moderated by me.
Location: Ferry Building, Port Commission Hearing Room, 2nd Floor
Time: 6-7 pm tasting, 7-8 pm panel discussion and film