School Food Initiative’s first Promotores culinary training graduating class: a cohort of dedicated and talented leaders.

Wednesday, May 22, marked the fourth specialized culinary training of Santa Barbara County promotores by Chef Instructors and staff from Orfalea Foundation’s School Food Initiative. (For more information about Santa Barbara County’s promatores de salud program, see our earlier post HERE)

Foodbank of Santa Barbara Outreach Manager Amy Lopez kicked off the morning with a summary of the numerous Foodbank sponsored programs available to Santa Barbara County residents in need including:


School Food Initiative Chef Instructors continued the day with instruction in:

  • Durables, disposables and the waste stream: an analysis and matching exercise
  • Hydration health awareness and water bottle math
  • An overview of The National School Lunch Program, including commodities, governing agencies, and the tightrope of USDA regulations

Prior to the graduation ceremony, Orfalea Foundation School Food Initiative Director Kathleen de Chadenèdes addressed the group and reiterated the desired outcomes of the training. “The first outcome is the empowerment of the attendees to adopt healthy eating habits. The second: To create an awareness of our dysfunctional food system.  The third: Creating an awareness of the complex regulations that govern the federally funded food programs offered at schools. The fourth: Preparing the Promotores to conduct safe and healthy cooking demos in their communities.”


Health Education and Evaluation Manager Serena Fuller adds, “The Foodbank’s aspirational outcomes for the training are multifold. To inspire change in community leaders around food such that the leaders themselves make important changes first and then these changes are transmitted to families, larger groups and the community as a whole. To create a sustainable Santa Barbara County food system by providing education highlighting that food not only impacts our own health but the planet’s health as well. To demonstrate Orfalea Foundation and the Foodbank’s understanding that change happens from the bottom-up and starts with well-trained community members. To empower the next set of culinary educators that can take the School Food message out of the School Food Service Kitchen and into the home. And finally, to start the ball rolling on holding more culinary training boot camps for the community…why stop now?”

How long various packaging takes to degrade when disposed of improperly: match the package to the time frame and prepare for a shock.

The Promotora de Salud Training Program is a collaboration of Kathleen de Chadenèdes (Orfalea Foundation SFI), Fidel Villanueva (Santa Barbara County Dept. of Public Health), Serena Fuller (Foodbank of Santa Barbara County), Josefa Rios, Sandra Toro and Georgene Lowe (Santa Barbara County Education Office, Health Linkages Program.)

Special thanks to:

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