Rancho Santa Fe students offer healing and comfort through food

CARLSBAD — A group of 11 Pacific Ridge School students, including Rancho Santa Fe residents Ariana Bancroft, Kati Perry and Haley Klaus, recognized the need to share the culture and comfort of home-cooked food with people far from home. That’s why they formed the service learning group Cooking Cures to purchase, cook and serve dinner at the Ronald McDonald House for families of patients at Rady Children’s Hospital.
The service-learning curriculum at Pacific Ridge School integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, encourage lifelong civic engagement, and strengthen communities for the common good. Students from the Cooking Cures service-learning group agree, “it’s more rewarding to work on a project through the whole school, rather than to volunteer for a small number of hours. Working together can be hard, but it teaches us to understand each other better.”
The students have spent the majority of the 2010-2011 academic year mapping out their plans and fundraising to purchase the needed materials for their group. On Dec. 3, the Cooking Cures group prepared and served food to the Ronald McDonald House in San Diego. The group will visit again March 11. Ronald McDonald House asks volunteer groups to have the resources to feed 150 people at dinner. The Cooking Cures service learning group will need to raise $250 to accommodate that for the March visit.
With the intent to also make a global impact, Cooking Cures aims to donate food to families in need through Heifer International, a non-profit organization whose goal is to help end world hunger and poverty through self-reliance and sustainability. The group hopes to raise $140 to buy a flock of chickens and a goat for Heifer International before the end of the academic year.

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