My Family Kitchen volunteers met last week to prepare for our eight-week fall session, teaching school children to cook easy, healthy meals on a budget.

There are 14 classes being taught at schools in Philadelphia and Camden. New schools that have joined the program this year include Tanner Duckrey and Wagner Middle School in Philadelphia and H.B. Wilson in Camden.

Many thanks to Beth Cooper, longtime Philadelphia chef, for demonstrating kitchen safety and knife skills. Most important rule of chopping: Never take your eyes off the knife.

This fall marks 11 years, since I first started a blog at the urging of my adult daughter who wanted to do more healthy cooking. Since then, some 70 volunteers have taught more than 1,500 students how to cook dinner. It is so heartening to see so many volunteers returning year after year and new volunteers joining our mission!

The irony of it all: my daughter is married with two little girls, working as a doctor, and her husband does the cooking!

– Maureen Fitzgerald, Program Director