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STRIDE Receives a Grant to Implement Pink and Dude Chefs at Local Schools


SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — Dozens of middle school students in northern Santa Barbara County will learn how to cook healthy meals thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Orfalea Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on improving early childhood education, school food and disaster readiness. The grant will allow STRIDE to implement Pink and Dude Chefs programming at four sites: Guadalupe’s Kermit McKenzie Junior High School, the New Cuyama Valley Resource Center, People’s Self-Help Housing with Marian Medical Center, and Santa Maria Boys & Girls Club. Each site will run three cohorts over the course of the academic year.

Nutrition graduate students Jacqueline Chen and Alyssa Vaziri are supervising the implementation of the program. The Orfalea Foundation also invited Vaziri and Chen to lead a roundtable discussion for local educational leaders at the Orfalea School Wellness Summit in October.

“We are excited to be offered this opportunity to expand health education to a wider range of students and make a positive impact,” said Chen.

The grant helped STRIDE provide kitchen kits, student workbooks, instructor manuals and access to comprehensive online training for all sites. Vaziri and Chen provide the necessary support to program staff, both on and off-site.

The graduate students will also evaluate the efficacy of the Pink and Dude Chefs online training campus. Their project is part of the overall formative research used to continuously improve Pink and Dude Chefs.


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