Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) today announced the launch of its Sunshine for All® Cities Program in Baltimore, MD. Designed to bring healthy foods and nutrition education to those who lack access, DSC has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore to serve as the program’s hub and notable local chef Jasmine Norton to head up culinary education.
To commemorate the start of this instrumental program, Mayor Brandon M. Scott has proclaimed today Sunshine for All Day in Baltimore.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to heighten the global hunger crisis and Baltimore is no different. The city was selected because of its rate of food insecurity – one in four Baltimore residents are food insecure, and 1 in every 3 children live in a food desert (areas that lack access to full-service grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other vendors that sell nutritious fruits and vegetables).
“As a brand that is deeply committed to making the world a better place and bringing a little sunshine to all, we are excited to continue our work to address food insecurity in Baltimore,” said JC Dalto, President & Managing Director, Americas, Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. “Together, with the help of incredible local partners who share our passion to drive positive change, I believe we will make a lasting impact on the Baltimore community and be one step closer to achieving the nutrition goals stated in the Dole Promise.”
The program will center around the Dole Kids Cooking Camp, which will consist of bi-weekly classes taught by acclaimed local chef and owner of The Urban Oyster, Jasmine Norton, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore’s Webster Kendrick location (4130 Callaway Avenue). To equip kids to navigate the challenges of food insecurity and nutrition education, classes will cover basic cooking skills, healthy recipe preparation and smart grocery shopping and meal planning tips.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Dole to help combat food accessibility and insecurity in the city that I call home,” said Chef Jasmine Norton. “Working with the children at The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore has been the highlight of my year. These kids are bright, talented and excited to learn how to make healthy recipes. They are the future of the Baltimore community and I’m honored to serve in this program.”
In the coming weeks, Sunshine for All will expand to include farmers’ markets offering affordable locally grown produce and the distribution of nutritious smoothies from Smoothie King. DSC is also funding a pilot home orchard project in partnership with the Baltimore Orchard Project.
“We are excited to partner with Dole to develop young people’s capacity to make healthy choices about food and by extension, nurture their social, emotional and physical well-being into adulthood,” said Jeff Breslin, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore. “We look forward to growing and deepening our collaboration as they bring their Dole Promise to bear in Baltimore.”
Baltimore is the second destination for DSC’s Sunshine for All Cities Program. Since its debut in Jackson, MS, the program has provided more than 18,000 people with access to healthy foods and nutrition and culinary education. To learn how to get involved in Baltimore, click here.