Teens Love Cooking


As part of our Children’s Health Initiative, the Teens Love Cooking Program connects with middle school to high school aged children. This after school cooking program teaches real cooking skills over 7 sessions run by volunteer chefs and cooks, culminating in a party where the students cook a meal for their parents.

Who is Served?

Middle school to high school aged children

Role in Continuum of Programs
Step 4 in our Feed the Future continuum of programs

Program Impact

The “tween” years are a great time to start developing more robust cooking skills as youth are able to read recipes (fractions!) and can safely handle sharp objects (knives!). It is also a critical time to demonstrate via hand-on activities (cooking) that nutritious food tastes good. It doesn’t always have to be burgers, fries and sodas. Impacts for Teens Love Cooking include improved diet quality and confidence in the student’s ability to prepare healthy meals and snacks with minimal parental assistance.


Program Sites

Carpinteria Middle School
La Cumbre Junior High (Santa Barbara)
El Camino Junior High (Santa Maria)

Opportunities to Get Involved

Interested in sharing your cooking skills? Become a trained community leader for this weekly, 7 week program.

To volunteer in Santa Barbara or Carpinteria, please contact Volunteer Services at (805) 403-2471.

To volunteer in Santa Maria, please contact Lori Bailey at (805) 722-5251.

“We are pleased to support the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s Teens Love Cooking Program and its larger mission to improve food literacy for local children and families in need.  In introducing teenagers to essential kitchen skills and teaching them to cook for themselves, Teens Love Cooking speaks directly to Julia’s legacy.  It’s particularly gratifying to be able to help expand a program in Santa Barbara, where Julia once called home and the Foundation is based,” said Todd Schulkin, Executive Director of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.