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'It’s just really heartwarming': KCPS students make, package meals for Kids Feeding Kids

Kai Jackson, student chef participating in Kids Feeding Kids
Posted at 2:50 PM, Oct 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-20 18:26:32-04

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In her free time, Paseo Academy senior Kai Jackson likes to make meals for her classmates.

"They get to tell me what it is that they want and I get to bring it to them," Jackson said. "It’s just enjoyable."

But through the Kids Feeding Kids program with Pete's Garden, she's able to serve a larger group.

The class at Manual Career Technical Center teaches students their way around a professional kitchen with professional chefs as teachers, while the food they whip up goes to those facing food insecurity or organizations like YMCA Head Start.

On Friday, the students made up a meal of chicken, green beans, potatoes and carrots. Half were hard at work with the meal prep, the other packaged everything up.

Meals the students put together

"We’re cooking for children that struggle like that so they have something to eat," Jackson said.

On top of culinary skills, students learn about food insecurity, which is a topic that Diane Mora said they're invested in.

Diane Mora, Director of Education for Kids Feeding Kids, Pete's Garden

"In some cases it’s either because it’s happening in their own home or their learning that as they go out and look at employment, they need to be aware of their ability to earn a living," said Mora, the director of education for Kids Feeding Kids.

Mora works in classrooms throughout the state to promote Kids Feeding Kids. On top of the culinary and team work skills the students build, she said she's thrilled they're walking away from the program with such gratitude and excitement.

"One common reaction is, 'My classwork made me happy today, I felt like I was doing something important,'" Mora said. "How many times do we hear high school students come home and say their classwork made them happy, right?"

It's definitely a team effort, and in this case, there's never too many cooks in the kitchen.

"We’re helping kids eat, we are responsible for the things that they eat and I think that that’s nice," Jackson said. "It’s fun to be a part of something like that."