About us

The mission of The Sylvia Center

is to inspire young people to become healthy eaters and advocates for healthy food in their families and communities. Through our programs, participants learn what fresh food is, how delicious it tastes, and how to prepare nutritious meals on a daily basis. Watch this video to see what we do, and the impact we’re making on young people’s lives:

what we do

Build character through cooking. Kids and teens gain confidence in knowing they can do something that’s good for them and their families.

Inspire young people to eat well. Our classes show families that it IS possible to eat fresh, healthy food on a budget.

Fight the epidemic of childhood obesity. Studies show an inverse correlation between rates of obesity and time spent cooking at home.

Build lifelong healthy habits. We expand young people’s willingness to try new foods and encourage them to take their new skills home.

Teach teamwork and problem solving. Young people learn to work together toward the common goal of making healthy, delicious meals.

who we serve

3000

students participate in our programs each year, and bring new knowledge and skills home to their families

90%

of our participating students qualify for free and reduced lunch

7-20

We work with elementary school-age children (7-13), teens (14-20), and their families

where we operate

New York City: We conduct series cooking classes in public housing community centers throughout New York City. In these classes, young people and their families are exposed to a wide variety of fresh food and instruction in the cooking techniques needed to prepare a simply, healthy meal.

Upstate New York: From April through November, we work with youth and their families on Katchkie Farm and in local schools and community centers. Youth participate in every step of the story of food from seed to plate—planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, and creating a healthy meal using what they have picked.

why we do what we do

At this critical time, when obesity afflicts two-thirds of America’s children, it is essential to familiarize young people with whole, fresh produce and advocate a healthier diet. The Sylvia Center teaches young people an essential skill, how to cook healthy meals, so that they can make good choices for themselves and their families for life.