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The p:ear Kitchen and Food program

Pear - Creatively Mentoring Homeless Youth

The p:ear Kitchen and Food Program was developed to give homeless young people the opportunity to learn how to cook, to develop vocational skills, and to develop a deeping understanding of the cultural, economic and social importance of food in our shared culture.

Oregon struggles with food insecurity, ranking third in the nation for percentage of households with hungry people (USDA Report, 2008). Homeless and transitional youth in Portland experience chronic food insecurity at a much higher level, and bear the burden of this insecurity through poor health and lack of access to resources.
p:ear has begun to address this problem through the establishment of the p:ear Kitchen and Food program in September, 2008, which is an extension of the food program that p:ear has had in place for the past seven years, supported by community restaurants and individuals. The Kitchen and Food program, which is unique in the city, uses both basic skills classes and visits from guest chefs, cooks, farmers and food purveyors to emphasize cultural and creative skills, as well as the economics, practices, and challenges of healthy eating.
To volunteer with the food program, please contact Sarah, sarah@pearmentor.org.
p:ear would like to extend our great thanks to the following individuals and organizations, who have helped us come this far: Slow Food Portland, Oregon Culinary Institute, Chris Cohen, Nathan Rose, Jane Viehl, Julie Ball, Scrantz Lersch, Erika Heider, Jo Barney, Donna Wilson, and especially Viki White.