Triangle’s Culinary Exploration Program Quickly Pivots Online
Below is the fourth entry in our blog series on how Triangle programs are modifying programs for individuals with disabilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to continue meeting our mission and have established Triangle, Inc.’s Fund for Ability that will help guarantee the continuation of our services now and into the future.
When Governor Baker issued the stay-at-home order in March, Triangle, Inc. found itself in a similar scenario to many other organizations serving youth throughout the country – it had only partially completed an innovative new Culinary Exploration Program for Boston Public School students.
This three-module program exposed students to a variety of experiences within the world of food. From smart shopping and nutrition to knife skills, these interactive sessions provided a well-rounded experience to attendees looking to gain familiarity in a kitchen setting. The first two modules were held on site at The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market, the organization’s partner in the project. Triangle’s Director of Workforce Development, Janice Philpot, saw how much progress the students had already made, and understood the importance of completing the third and final module, Nutrition 101. As a result, Triangle worked with Chef Cleo Bell from The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market to quickly adapt the curriculum and bring the final module to students virtually.
Seven students from the Boston Public School system are currently enrolled in the program – two from Charlestown High School and five from the Henderson Inclusion School. “Together we are moving the needle on learning,” said Janice Philpot. “This collaboration builds on what BPS teachers have done in their classrooms, putting the building blocks in place by providing culinary teaching and training.” To ensure that all students could fully participate, Janice picked up the ingredients needed and safely hand-delivered them to each student’s home. Using Zoom, the students were able to successfully complete the program, watching and interacting with Chef Cleo as she taught the program’s final lessons.
Throughout the week of April 12th, students were introduced to the five food groups and explored their pantries. On the second day of the module, they followed along with Chef Cleo on Zoom as they cooked vegetable fried rice. Next, the group dove into learning about the food pyramid and the importance of eating a balanced diet. By April 17th, the students were using the skills and knowledge they gained in earlier sessions to cook pasta with meatballs and a vegetable sauce.
Triangle has been proud to support these seven students as they learn more about the culinary field, and looks forward to celebrating their success!