Childhood obesity is a raging epidemic in the US. Obesity can impact children’s mental and physical health, often resulting in long term implications for their education, social lives, and ultimate success.
In 2006, the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) created the Kids in the Kitchen Program for Junior Leagues across the country to tackle this difficult issue. The program brings together volunteers and youth to learn how to make healthier choices. The Junior League of Tampa was an early adopter of the initiative.
Kids in the Kitchen is currently the Provisional Project, implemented by the League’s newest members. At six locations across the Hillsborough County, volunteers bring kids into the kitchen to learn how to prepare their own healthy food in a fun way. Over 900 children have participated in this year.
The Kids in the Kitchen committee also hosts Family Food Fest, a free family event to kick off the summer season. The 2018 event, hosted at the University Area Community Development Center (UACDC), featured a mobile food pantry, games, culinary demonstrations, and book giveaways.