CYO Physical Education serves more than 2,000 low-income grade-school children and their families every year. The program’s full-time Culinary Arts and Nutrition Educator, Chef Matthew Fast, has a professional chef background, but puts his love for the community into action every day by leading classes about healthy eating. By the end of his classes, kids express a greater interest in trying new fruits and vegetables and a desire to keep fresh produce in their homes. The kids, in turn, educate and encourage their parents and families to start making healthier diet decisions. Thanks to Chef Fast’s teaching, children come home with enough knowledge and excitement about nutrition to influence their parents’ awareness of what food they are purchasing and what is going into their own bodies.
“Food brings families, people, communities, countries and the world together,” says Chef Fast. “Food can cause so many emotions and even trigger a memory. Food is amazing and the possibilities are endless.”