I am a volunteer, a donor and former client. I love the work that Ceres does and how important they have grown in the Sonoma County community.
I have been both a recipient of Ceres when ill and now a volunteer for them. This is by far the best nonprofit organization I have been involved in. Having teen chefs prepare food for our clients is such a wonderful idea. Not only are the clients receiving fabulous healthy food while going through treatment, but the teens are getting some of the best training and experience in their lives. And all of the adult volunteers get to learn more about healthy eating as well. The organization is well run, and when I attend volunteer events I feel like I am with family.
What an amazing organization!! The impact to the community and to those individuals that we serve is significant and needed for our challenging times. A life changing mission to feed those too sick to cook or feed themselves and engage the our future generation of leaders to understand their role in contributing to a healthy community is critical to our world today.
Ceres has my heart. They helped my Mom when she was undergoing treatment! I volunteer there once a week and enjoy every minute I am there.
I am a volunteer with Ceres for over a year now. I love Ceres and the work they do. My Mother was a client with Ceres and received healing meals for 6 months while she was building her health back up after a treatment that left her weak. Being a part of the magic that happens at Ceres is the greatest gift and is rewarding in a way that is indescribable. I am grateful beyond measure.
It's been a privilege to serve on the Board of Ceres for the last 4 years. I have volunteered and served on the boards of several nonprofits including national organizations and none have been run better than Ceres. Under Cathryn Couch's leadership Ceres has grown from a small summer project to wonderful organization, changing lives not just here in Sonoma County, but now spreading across the country. Ceres is mission driven and the heart of mission is improving and connecting community both on the near term and for the long game. There is no doubt of the impact of delivering healthy, nutrious food to those dealing with acute medical illness, but perhaps more subtle but no less important is the impact to our community when we empower our youth to make positive changes in their own lives and to the communities where they live. That is a benefit we will reap for generations.
I learned about Ceres several years ago, and was incredibly impressed by the work they do serving people in the midst of a health crisis, creating community connections and empowering young people. The work Ceres does became even more meaningful when I was going through cancer treatment myself, and realized how debilitating and demoralizing the process can be. Ceres is there to provide healthy delicious meals to people when they need it most -- regardless of their ability to pay. It's an incredible organization with a big heart, and a strong, smart, effective management team and staff. Our community is so lucky to have Ceres!
I'm honored to be a board member of Ceres Community Project and am impressed with each interaction I have with the staff, volunteers, and community served. The impact this organization is making makes me proud to be a small part of creating an ecosystem of empowered youth creating and serving healing foods. Ceres Community Project is making a huge difference in our community and is a model for food as medicine.
I have volunteered with Ceres for over 4 years, known many friends and community members who have been clients, receiving healthy, delicious meals made with love by our teen volunteers. Ceres has something for everybody to do, in the kitchen, garden or office. It is a joy and a rich learning experience for everyone. Ceres has the most integrity and respect of any the many volunteer organizations I've been involved with. And we have a lot of fun working as a team.
As a former staff member, moving on to further my career was less hard because I knew I'd be welcomed back as a volunteer. But seeing things from the other side is quite beautiful. The appreciation you receive as a volunteer, the comraderie you can feel with other volunteers, and the knowledge that you are making changes in the world are all quite moving. I only wish I had more time (and money) to give!
We were one of Ceres first clients when my husband had cancer. In the decade since, both of my sons have worked as teen volunteers in the kitchen, garden and catering events. I have done some volunteering and taken nutritional cooking classes. We support several nonprifits, but Ceres is my favorite. I know from these many perspectives, the deep integrity of this organization, as well as the brilliance of its design--powerfully changing the lives of those who are ill and their families, as well as those teens and adults who serve and experientially learn so much about healthy eating and cooking, teamwork, and the ability to make a positive difference in the world. Supporting Ceres uplifts my heart.
I remember when I first heard about the Ceres Project...an organization that invites adult community members and teens to help grow organic food and then cook it up so that it can be delivered to very sick people and their families. It sounded brilliant to me, especially the part about inviting and empowering teens to participate in community building and service.
All this while having fun and socializing in a positive setting and learning some quite practical skills for personal or professional application! I eventually became a volunteer, first helping to maintain the beautiful landscape around the Ceres building on Bodega Ave., then as a garden mentor working with teens and learning together how to grow healthy, organic fruits and veg. I am so grateful for all of the thoughtfulness of the organization ON EVERY LEVEL. Please invest in them with your time, money or spreading the word about them. They are so valuable to our community and a wonderful template for other communities to learn from.
I am a donor...My granddaughter Shannon Gallup is a volunteer.........
She loves Ceres.....
A wonderful way to introduce Volunteering that will go with them in the future
(1/4) I was referred to Ceres through my doctor at the Sebastopol Community Health Center. She raved about Ceres and signed me up for a class. I was blown away
Newly diagnosed with cancer, Ceres delivered meals as I recovered from treatment. They have helped me learn about inserting healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle into my routine. I am a very poor chef, and I look forward to taking their cooking classes to tackle that challenge. I appreciate this program being in place. I think it is unique and a loving service to the community.
My name is Rebecca and I have been a teen volunteer at Ceres for three years.
I would like to share a memory from a few months ago to help bring you into a typical afternoon in the Ceres kitchen.
“I gather in a circle with eight other teens and our chef mentors. Today, Diane joins us to share her experience as a cancer survivor. She thanks us for three months of wholesome meals delivered to her doorstep, which nourished her through chemotherapy. Before leaving, Diane adds that her family’s favorite dish was the fish tikka masala. I smile. I remember cooking that Indian dish two weeks ago. She smiles. Dispersing across the kitchen, we chop, roast, and sauté, transforming local produce into tasty dishes. Stirring, garnishing, and packaging, we prepare meals for 40 community members in need.
When a new volunteer accidentally adds too much broth to the North African stew, as a teen leader at Ceres, I remind him that there are no mistakes, only modifications. We laugh and rename the stew a soup. Taste testing the sesame dressing, I add a dash of rice wine vinegar, confidently straying from the recipe. I leave the kitchen to goodbyes and see-you-next-weeks, excited to don my chef coat again next Thursday afternoon.”
Ceres has sparked my love of cooking and inspired me to spend countless hours experimenting in my own kitchen at home. But Ceres is about so much more than just food. Ceres is a safe space where I have built the confidence to trust in my creativity and problem solve when things don’t go right. Ceres is where I want to be every Thursday afternoon and I am so lucky to be part of this welcoming group of people who have transformed a shared passion for cooking into action in our greater community.
I applaud Ceres Community project and it is an honor to be part of this community. The staff are caring, thoughtful, creative and respectful of each other, clients and volunteers. The Leadership Team strives to nurture a positive, respectful and innovative culture while being excellent stewards of all financial funds received.
I am honored to be a board member for Ceres Community Project. It is our mission to restore locally-grown, organic whole food to its place as the foundation of health. We do this by educating people about the connection between what we eat and our health and we do that by:
- providing nourishing whole foods meals to individuals and families dealing with serious illness; we have provided 82,000 free meals over the past four years to people with cancer and other life threatening illnesses
- bringing teenagers into the kitchen to volunteer as our program’s chefs so they can learn to cook and eat healthy foods while making a meaningful contribution to our community. Each week they prepare more than 500 beautiful, delicious and nourishing free meals;
- offering a wide range of classes, lectures and our Nourishing Connections Cookbook to help everyone in our community make healthier food choices.
- replicating our model around the country to make a national impact in addition to our local impact.
Since Ceres Community Project began in 2007, more than 350 young people from at least twenty-five Sonoma County schools have volunteered over 9,000 hours in our kitchen. Working together, these amazing teens have prepared over 80,000 meals for nearly 400 local families.
This service is a life saver! I don't feel anxiety about having to buy expensive meals and prepare them! I enjoy the menu and really appreciate the extra healthy goodies. The process is very easy to apply and the volunteers are saints. I can't say enough good things about it and continue to refer people to them.
Volunteering as a Teen Mentor is gratifying to me on several levels. The teens are fascinating, fun, curious, and willing to work, learn, and grow. I'm learning new ways of communicating expectations, managing resources, and preparing healthy food. The best part is hearing client's stories of what healthy meals, prepared with love, mean to their recovery.
I was very surprised to find out first hand how much Ceres had to offer to me. The food they provided when I needed it was excellent. They also gave a lot of support to me in person and on the phone. When I could later get back on my feet, I attended two cooking classes and learned a lot about how to choose and prepare food for health. I thought by now I would have known everything I needed to know, but their research and presentation gave me much new to me and valuable information. I also got to experience the young people learning how to grow food at the farm. It was good to meet them and see how they were on healthy paths at young ages. I don't know how to express enough the value Ceres is to me and to the community. At classes I met others who had similar glowing reports about Ceres and their help. I feel confident in the Ceres staff for providing what people like me need in times of need. Thanks for all that you do. Harvey Bell
This spring I had a reocurance of leukemia. I was losing weight fast and could not get my appetite back. No matter what I ate the weight just kept dropping. I was searching for some help and found Ceres. After talking to the enrollment person I decided to start the weekly delivery of meals to my home. The meals have been wonderful. They are just the right amount and they have been expertly prepared and tasty. When all foods before tasted like cardboard these meals were delicious. After several months of being on the program my weight has returned to my regular level. Thank you soo much for being there.