If there is one thing all teenagers can enjoy, it’s food – and Brainfood capitalizes on that universal appeal to empower young people, build their skills, and unlock job opportunities. Youth unemployment remains extremely high (14%), and for those living in poverty, getting that first job is all the more difficult. So at Brainfood’s after-school and summer programs (serving students from all eight wards), cooking classes engage teens not only in culinary arts and nutrition, but in valuable job skills like accountability, communication, time management, and leadership. Home-cooked foods are donated to local community organizations, and in the summer months, youth get their hands dirty by growing produce in the garden. Second-year “MVPs” take on the role of instructor, leading workshops in the community to share their healthy cooking know-how. The newest program, Homegrown, teaches older youth to develop and sell their own food products – complete with training in branding, sales, and distribution at local outlets like Union Market. Building confidence, healthy habits, and valuable skills: now there’s a recipe for success!