The Food Entrepreneurship Program looks forward to future collaborations with community organizations that produce meaningful results and ultimately strengthen community commitment to fairness and opportunity in this sector of the local food industry. For more information, please contact Lara Parilla Kaltman, Nutrition & Community Development Issue Leader at CCE-Tompkins, at (607) 272-2292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students from Beverly J. Martin (BJM) Elementary School in Ithaca recently were treated to a unique culinary experience, thanks to a new program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (CCE-Tompkins) and the volunteer efforts of a group of visiting school superintendents from Wayne County.
It all began with a call from the Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES seeking to actively engage its school superintendents in a food activity that would benefit local students. This sparked the idea to introduce students in BJM’s A+ Enrichment Program to cuisine based on the ancient Indian health system of Ayurveda, as prepared by an aspiring local caterer, Asif Ullah, with the support of CCE-Tompkins’ Food Entrepreneurship Program. The end result? Fifty students went home with a nourishing meal of Kitchari, a traditional rice and lentil dish, and Cauliflower Potato Subji, prepared by Asif at CCE-Tompkins and assembled by 25 superintendents in space generously provided by The Statler Hotel at Cornell University.
The Food Entrepreneurship Program, funded by the City of Ithaca Community Development Block Grant Program and the Latino Civic Association, helps a diverse range of budding food entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges of starting a catering business. The program’s long term aim is to develop sustainable catering and food vending businesses that enhance social well-being and economic development in the community.