From Farms to Table, Migrant Children Enjoy Food Prep Experience

August 9, 2016

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

It might sound trite, but it’s true:  Spending a day in the Food Bank of Delaware’s kitchen was a win-win for everyone involved with the Delaware Department of Education’s “Migrating to the Kitchen” event.

IMG_2031Kent County migrant students who are enrolled in the federally-funded Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program had an opportunity to work side-by-side with students from the Food Bank’s culinary class in Milford.

Together they prepared a delicious lunch using local produce that was picked or packed by their parents. Perdue in Milford donated chicken for the meal.

In addition to the actual preparation, a bit of additional fun was planned by incorporating a peer-judged food contest into the experience.IMG_2045

Ryan McNulty, a Milford Central Academy social studies teacher, has worked summers with this 6-week program for the past nine years, but this is the first year students cooked at the Food Bank of Delaware.

The program operates out of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club for students ranging from 3-21 years old.

“The families of all the kids work in agriculture, mostly in picking and packing, and to qualify, they have to move, even within the state,” McNulty said.

Three teams, five members each, worked to create a meal using items such as peaches and corn, donated by Fifer Farms, as well as the chicken. Other ingredients included fresh watermelon, cantaloupes, potatoes and tomatoes.

Just like the cooking competitions on the Food Network, these young chefs were on a deadline.

IMG_2043“This is awesome,” said Tim Hunter, the Food Bank of Delaware’s executive chef. “It shows that their parents do valuable work and that chefs appreciate it.”

Chef Tish, an instructor for adult students enrolled in the Food Bank’s culinary class, also welcomed the youngsters. Her students partnered as chef instructors, guiding the youngsters.

“It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for students to lead instead of follow.”

Sylvia, one of the Food Bank’s culinary program students, welcomed the change of pace.

“I really enjoyed it. I loved working with the kids. They were fun and full of questions,” she said.

The food preparation was followed by the best part of the event: eating lunch! Obviously the students enjoyed their creations as they went back for second and third helpings.IMG_2020

Then the students were able to vote for their favorite dish. The winner? Cheeto ® Chicken created by a team named The Cooks.

And their prize? A mug of their choice, and of course, many fond memories.

Terry Richard, the Delaware Department of Education Migrant Education Program director, echoed the sentiments of Chefs Tim and Tish, the teachers, and the students.

“The kids learned something. It’s creative and it’s an educational way for them to connect to something they can relate to. It’s a win-win for them,” she said.


For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware’s programs, visit

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