When Bon Appetit Management Co. launched an interactive Healthy Kids program at the new onsite garden at AT&T Park in San Francisco in 2015, it was meant to be an individual initiative designed to expose youngsters coming to the ballpark to gardening and scratch cooking. But starting in September 2016, the program has taken off to multiple sites outside the ballpark environment, and now Bon Appetit has a dedicated team of 10 professionals who help company-managed sites in corporate facilities and universities host Healthy Kids in the Bon Appetit Kitchen events for groups of local kids of grade school age.
The initiative is headed by Hannah Schmunk, Bon Appetit’s manager of food education for children, and has since its inception seen some 1,600 children participate in the Healthy Kids events at sites across 20 states. In San Francisco, the company’s two Presidio district restaurants have gone further and partnered with nearby Claire Lilienthal Elementary School to host all of its first-grade classes over the course of the year in a garden in the Presidio.
“Healthy Kids in the Bon Appétit Kitchen has been a dream of mine for years,” says Bon Appetit CEO Fedele Bauccio. “It’s been incredible to see Hannah, the Fellows and our chefs make it a reality for thousands of children. It is so important that we teach kids about real food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies.”
Photos courtesy of Bon Appetit Mgt. Co.