San Francisco News

Chef helps school raise money for garden

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Community members will be treated to a feast tonight, thanks to the work of local elementary school students.

Chef Adam Timney from Starbelly, a restaurant in the Castro District, will be making a ravioli dinner for a fundraiser to benefit Sanchez Elementary School.

Members of Slow Food San Francisco and the students' families and friends will come out tonight to help raise money for the school's gardening program.

The vegetables that Timney will be using in tonight's dish were taken from Sanchez Elementary School's garden, which was tended to by fourth- and fifth-grade student council members, school principal Dr. Raymond Isola said.

Tonight's dinner will be a community event, and students' families will be contributing to the meal, fifth-grader Christopher Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said his mother is making potato tacos from potatoes he helped grow in the garden.

The garden serves many functions in the curriculum, Isola said. "Building an edible school garden increases students' understanding of nutrition. We're connecting it back to classroom learning."

Isola said teachers are using the garden in a variety of classes, most notably to teach science.

Slow Food San Francisco was responsible for bringing well-known chef Timney into the program.

"It was a no-brainer," Timney said. "As soon as I got the call I knew it was something I wanted to do."

As an avid gardener, Timney said he believes in the importance of teaching children about where food comes from.

"For too many generations of kids, food just comes from the store," Timney said.

Isola hopes to expand the garden to incorporate even more opportunities for learning.

"Last Saturday we planted plants that are native to San Francisco in front of the school, and we're working to incorporate community artists and gardeners to create a sculpture garden."

Fifth-grader Rosa Cruz said Saturday's gardening was a family event. "My grandmother was there. She cut down a whole tree."

The ravioli dinner will be served at 5 p.m. at the school, located at 325 Sanchez St. Those attending are asked to contribute $25 and a dish to share.

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Tags:
charities, obesity, food, castro, fundraiser, san francisco news
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