The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
We will take a trip into the kitchen with today’s blog post from Robin “Radish” Rowland, Kids in the Kitchen Chair 2013-2014. It’s a good look at how the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri works across the state line and makes healthy eating FUN for Kansas City kids. The smiles on their faces tell so much of the story!
More than 200 Junior Leagues implement the Kids In The Kitchen (KITK) program to improve the health and wellness of children. Every League implements their program differently – but the results are always magical. Our League has partnered with the Junior League of Wyandotte & Johnson Counties on the KITK project for several years. Each year, the combined committee designs and implements a program of educational activities that engage youth on healthy eating choices, safety in the kitchen, and the importance of physical fitness.
This year’s activities, organized for local Boys & Girls Club students, included a volunteer shift at Harvesters, a cooking activity, and an educational trip to the Kansas City Chiefs Sports Lab to focus on the importance of exercise.
The fieldtrip started off with students choosing a new last name – a healthy food choice that started with the same letter of their first name. I was no longer Robin Rowland – but Robin Radish! This set a fun tone for the day and it introduced everyone (kids and League members!) to new foods like jackfruit and jicama!
I heard and saw many inspiring things that day, but one moment was particularly resonant. It was from Sydney “Strawberry”, an eight-year-old girl. As we sorted apples at Harvesters Food Bank, she said to me, “I’m helping other kids eat healthy!” In that moment, I knew she got what every Junior League volunteer already gets – connecting purpose of volunteer efforts with the impact it creates. By sorting out the moldy apples, this little girl understood that she was doing her part to help another little girl or boy have a healthy option to eat.
It was a moment I won’t forget, and I hope it will be a moment for Sydney as well. I hope she will remember the joy she felt when she realized she was helping someone else. Perhaps one day Sydney will join the Junior League ranks and be part of the next generation of committed, trained volunteers that will have a positive and lasting impact in the community.