The Women’s Fund, Crossroads for Youth, and Cooking to Learn

The Women’s Fund Grant to Crossroads for Youth

Last year the Women’s Fund provided the Crossroads for Youth with a $2500 grant toward Cooking to Learn program. Crossroads for Youth is a private, nonprofit treatment agency that serves at-risk children and youth.

The grant is helping girls learn budgeting, healthy cooking, reading, math and teamwork. In January, they purchased, the “Cooking to Learn” CDs, and manuals as well as items such as pots, pans, bake-ware, mixer, griddle bowls, baking sheets, both cooking and measuring utensils, strainers and food storage containers. The girls began working on the program on the weekends, pending good behavior.

Crossroads for Youth Cooking to Learn Program

Crossroads for Youth Cooking to Learn Program

During the week, the girls decide what meals they would like to prepare, create a shopping list and go to the grocery store. They clip coupons and use savings cards to save money and to help them organize what items are needed the most. While at the grocery store, they work with staff on comparing prices and learning how to choose fresh fruits and vegetables. And, then proceed to the process of scanning, bagging and paying for their groceries. On the weekend, they work as a team to measure, prepare and bake or cook the meals. Often, they share the meals with other residential units on campus when available.

To further the program, in May, board member Tina Barton along with a large group of volunteers, spent the day with the girls preparing and planting three gardens right outside of the girls’ residence. The gardens include a fruit garden containing blueberries, raspberry bushes, and strawberries, a salad garden containing lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers and a third garden which the girls call there, “pizza garden,” which consists of tomatoes, peppers, oregano, basil and onions. The girls are very excited to use the fruit and plants they are growing in their own cooked meals. They take a lot of pride and enjoy watering the plants and the girls are learning life skills not taught in the school classroom.

One of the girls who benefited from the grant said “Growing up, we never cooked at home. My Mom always made frozen dinners. With this program, I have been able to bake, cook and eat what I make.”

Over the past 16 years, the Women’s Fund has donated more than $300,000 to organizations helping women. The fund is a permanently endowed fund owned and administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester. Through grant-making, the Fund provides ongoing and future support for programs that aid women while preserving and managing its donations in perpetuity by spending only the fund’s income and annual earnings.

For more information on the Women’s Fund, please visit their website at or for questions please call (248) 812-0763 or email You can also follow them on Facebook at The Women’s Fund.


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