What’s the Vetri Foundation, you ask? Simple. The Vetri Foundation’s mission is to teach kids that healthy food leads to healthy lives. Started in 2008 by Chef Marc Vetri and his business partner and sommelier Jeff Benjamin, the foundation has launched multiple initiatives to promote healthy eating among Philadelphia’s youth.
Their most public project, Eatiquette, focuses on bringing sustainable, healthful and real food to school lunchrooms. In addition to revamping the menu, they also get students to participate in the process by bringing them right into the kitchen.
Want to get involved? According to Danielle Zimmerman, their Communications Coordinator, Eatiquette is always looking for help. “Volunteers are needed to assist during the school day lunch periods at various schools throughout Philadelphia—mostly in North Philadelphia,” she wrote in an email. But don’t worry, the West Philly school Global Leadership Academy also has an Eatiquette program where they serve lunch on Wednesdays and Thursdays. No experience is necessary, but volunteers will need background checks in order to work in a school setting.
Beyond this, the Vetri Foundation also wants to give students the skills to pursue healthfulness on their own. To continue that aim, the foundation has created a Culinary Arts Training program. The thirteen–week internship intended for middle and high school students interested in pursuing jobs in the culinary arts culminates in a cook–off at the end of the program where students can try out their own recipes.
The Vetri Foundation has also partnered with My Daughter’s Kitchen, which began as an after–school cooking class taught by Maureen Fitzgerald, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s food editor. With help from the Vetri Foundation, My Daughter’s Kitchen has now reached over eighteen schools in Philadelphia and two in Camden, NJ.
While the Vetri Family restaurants have notoriously high prices, it’s refreshing to see this successful chef turn some of those profits to good. What’s more, Vetri is willing to match any donation made by patrons at the restaurant dollar for dollar. Who can pass up an opportunity to do a good thing while eating such good food?
Want to get involved?
1. Check out vetrifoundation.org to check out the different programs.
2. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer your time.