Denver – When award-winning Chef Elise Wiggins learned some students wouldn’t get a hot lunch or might go hungry because their parents have fallen behind on their school lunch fees, she came up with two ways to help. First, Chef Wiggins decided to teach a cooking class for kids and their parents at Cattivella’s Wood Fired Italian restaurant on Saturday, August 5, and use all of the money to help pay off their bills. Secondly, Wiggins decided to donate 10% of all of the proceeds for a night of dining at Cattivella’s on Tuesday, August 8 to the cause.
Dozens of students only receive graham crackers and milk at lunch because they have unpaid lunch fees. Sometimes, they go without eating the tell-tale “meal” because they’re embarrassed or fear being bullied.
“My life’s work is to make people happy by cooking them good food. I wish I could hand-deliver a tasty lunch to every kid in the city who can’t afford a hot lunch, but I know that’s not possible,” said Wiggins. “That’s why I’m proud to support KidsGiving365’s effort to erase the school lunch debt, so that every student can start the year off with hot lunches.”
Rachel Chaparro of Grace + Sky Homes is generously donating the cost of the food, about $1,000. Chaparro is also going to throw on an apron and act as Wiggin’s sous-chef in the cooking class.
“It broke my heart to think of kids not getting a hot lunch when school starts later this month, so I’m thrilled we could help be a small part of the solution,” said Chaparro, a real estate agent with Grace + Sky Homes. “It’s also my hope the kids who come to the cooking class will learn about this issue and show compassion to classmates who only have graham crackers in front of them during lunch.”
The nonprofit KidsGiving365 began the “Graham Crackers and Milk” campaign in July 2017 with a goal of paying off the entire $11,000 debt for all Denver students. Chaparro and Wiggins saw a TV News story about it and took action. The charity is grateful for the help.
“I don’t know if people realize that children in our own country, in our own state, in our own backyard, go hungry. We are grateful to Chaparro, Chef Wiggins and Cattivella’s restaurant for stepping in and lending a hand to pay off the debt for dozens of students,” said Deborah Sherman, president of KidsGiving365.
The Kids Cooking Class for a Cause is on Saturday, August 5 from 9:00 am to 11:00am at Cattivella’s. Award-winning Chef Elise Wiggins will provide a hands-on culinary lesson to create the perfect lunch box meatball sandwich. Participants will also get a taste of Italy by making homemade ricotta, a key ingredient for the recipe. the cost is $25 per child and $50 for adults. 100% of the funds will help pay down the debt. Cattivella Restaurant, 10195 E 29th Dr #110, Denver Buy your ticket here. In the notes section, please specify your $25 or $50 donation is for the Kids Cooking Class for a Cause on August 5, 2017.
Dine to Delete the School Lunch Debt is on Tuesday, August 8 from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm at Cattivella’s. 10% of sales will be donated to erase the debt and ensure that all kids get a hot lunch. Cattivella,10195 E 29th Dr #110, Denver. Reservations are encouraged.
For more information, contact Rachel at 303.204.7528 or Rachel@GraceadnSkyHome.com.