Nutrition Literacy Program Making a Difference

Mitch Day, Program Director at the McCormick Boys & Girls Club shared a thank you note from the children at the club to members of Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago. He told the board that in his ten years at the club this is the program of which he is most proud. And the notes on the giant card from the children and staff members at the club confirmed the sentiment.

This program that was initiated by Les Dames Chicago is featured prominently on the club’s website and has gained attention from other Boys & Girls Clubs around the city and internationally as a model. It promotes healthy life style and shines a light on career exploration in food and nutrition from the members of Les Dames who generously share their time teaching and working in the garden.
Mitch shared the beauty of the way this program teaches math, science and reading in a way that is fun and very “un-school-like.” The kids learn cooking as a basic life skill and bring the learning home. They are introduced to healthy foods that they have never experienced and more often than not find that they really enjoy them. The bounty from the garden is often so plentiful that vegetables in season can be brought home.

It is enormously rewarding for our members who participate to hear that comments they simply make in passing have such an impact on the children and their families. One classic remark was from one of the program participants who said she taught her mother how to make the great bean and kale soup they learned to make at the club.

If you would like to get involved in the program by teaching a class, helping in the garden or supporting some of the field trips, please contact program chair Jean True at


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