I am running in the Chicago Marathon in support of the charity, Common Threads, a charity destined to encourage nutritional education in youth. In recent years, my family was challenged with difficult decisions regarding our dietary choices. For the early parts of our family, my wife and I struggled to provide food that encourage healthy development. Quick, microwaveable meals and pre-packaged meals were the daily expected means of nourishment. Today, we are in much better health. Each meal targets all of the needed food groups including an emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables, and a lack of snack or junk foods. With a program like Common Threads, we may have been able to reach a nutritional wellness much earlier in life to reduce the need to struggle. A healthier diet impacts several aspects of a person's life.
Founded in 2003 by Chef Art Smith and artist Jesus Salgueiro, Common Threads has been teaching children living in underserved communities how to cook wholesome, heathy meals in professional led, curriculum-based after-school programs for 10 years. Students learn about grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables as they chop, slice, and bake their way to a healthy affordable meal. Students gain serious culinary skills, a taste for healthy food from different countries, and the confidence to make healthy choices about what they eat.
Common Threads began out of our love for family and good food, two basic ingredients that link all people of this world together. Family nurtures us, protects us, and connects us to a larger community. Food nourishes us, excites us, and teaches us about the world around us.
In 2013, Common Threads is taking bold steps to use the kitchen as a catalyst for change. We are launching a nationwide effort to get one million kids cooking in the next five years.