What and how we eat has a profound impact on our lives. Enjoying a nutritious meal made with fresh, whole ingredients surrounded by friends and family – this is what connects us all. At Vetri Community Partnership, we strive to create that same experience for the students we serve by teaching them to make better choices about the food that they eat.

Whether in the cafeteria, at one of our after-school cooking programs, or at the curbside with our Mobile Teaching Kitchen, children are learning how approachable, fun and delicious healthy food can be.

More than 7,000 students experienced a Vetri Community Partnership program at school or in the community last year. That’s 7,000 more Philadelphia and Camden area students who are armed with the tools they need to make better decisions about their own health and well-being.

It would be impossible to do this work without all of you – our generous donors and volunteers. Thank you for sharing the passion we have for breaking the cycle of poor eating habits that unfortunately get passed down from generation to generation. With innovative programs like ours, we know that we can break this cycle and empower more children to become educated food consumers.

Please enjoy Vetri Community Partnership’s 2016-2017 school year impact report. We are grateful for your support.


Marlene L. Olshan, CEO of Vetri Community Partnership

Established to help kids experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living, Vetri Community Partnership empowers children and families to lead healthier lives through fresh food, hands-on experiences and education.

Our programs aren’t prescriptive; they’re experiential. When kids connect with real, whole food in the cafeteria or in the kitchen, they are inspired to make informed decisions about their own health, influence their families and become a voice for healthier choices in their communities.

2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR

359,404 total meals served

2,402 students served every day

"We know our students need to nourish their bodies so we can nourish their minds. Providing them with a healthy lunch every day is incredibly important to our mission as a school. There was definitely resistance early in the year -- I think humans are programmed to resist change. By the end of the year, kids and adults were devouring jerk chicken drumsticks and kale salads like they were Hot Cheetos."

- Rob Berretta, principal at Ziegler Elementary School

A sample weekly Eatiquette school lunch menu.

2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR

264 students enrolled in the 8-week program

92% of students said they gained cooking skills

87% said they gained nutritional awareness

“Kids love it, it’s the premiere club of all the clubs we have!"

- Chris Avery, Vice President of Programs, Steppingstone Scholars, Inc.

"They’re not only making chicken chili, corn cakes, and kale salad with lemon vinaigrette. They’re learning science, technology, engineering, and math; how to listen to each other; how to inform their opinions and share them respectfully; how to make smart choices for their health; and the unwavering importance of etiquette, manners and the joy of eating with others.If there was a Vetri Cooking Lab in every school, our kids’ futures would be even brighter."

- Tara Mataraza-Desmond, Vetri Cooking Lab instructor

"I eat more vegetables than I ever did before. Because usually I just ate broccoli. That is my favorite vegetable. So now I actually eat string beans, peas, collard greens and carrots. I am starting to eat those. And I ate spinach for the first time - it wasn't cooked."

- Melani (age 10), student at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School

2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR

1,128 hours of culinary education

36 sites participated in the 8-week program

"Not only do the children learn skills such as how to chop onions, peel carrots, and scramble eggs, they learn that some dishes appeal to some and not to others. They learn how to respect different cuisines, and, more importantly, how to respect each other."

- Maureen Fitzgerald, food editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer and founder of the My Daughter's Kitchen program

After working together to prepare a meal, students take time to at the end of the class to enjoy it.

2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR

65 visits to schools, parks, farmers markets and community events

4,052 children and adults participated in hands-on cooking demonstrations

"Thanks for sharing a great recipe with First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School. I made a great dinner tonight."

- Teeyona Crumpton, parent

Created By
Vetri Community Partnership

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.