The Junior League of Washington, D.C. is hosting its annual Kids in the Kitchen Event on February 25th from 9am-1pm at the YMCA Anthony Bowen. This free, no reservations required event will showcase food and fitness in a fun and accessible way to children aged 3-13.
This year the Kids in the Kitchen event, recommended for ages 3-13, features local restaurants, fitness instructors and a complimentary Chipotle coupon for the first 100 visitors. This free, no reservations event will take place on February 25th at the Anthony Bowen YMCA located at 1325 W St., NW. I recently connected with Allegra Formento of the Junior League of Washington D.C., Allegra is the chairman of the Kids in The Kitchen committee and was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the event.
1. What is the Junior League of Washington and why do they host this event?
The Junior League of Washington (www.jlw.org) is a nonprofit organization of more than 2,300 women who annually donate thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. JLW is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Now in it’s 11th year, JLW is proud to host once again its fun-filled, family-friendly nutrition fair, Kids in the Kitchen. Poor nutrition and childhood obesity remain serious problems in Washington, DC, where one in three children is overweight or obese – giving DC the unfortunate distinction of having the third highest child obesity rate in the nation. Through Kids in the Kitchen, JLW is doing its part to help reverse that statistic.
2. This event sounds super fun, how long does the planning process take?
It is super fun! The planning process for this event starts as early as September. We’re always looking to make each year’s event better than the last. We have several meetings in the fall with the Executive Director of the YMCA Anthony Bowen to discuss what worked well, what could be improved upon and what’s something new that we could implement that the kids would really enjoy. Our Kids in the Kitchen Committee is made up of 35 women, and months in advance we work to secure donations and to invite special guests and community partners to lead cooking demonstrations, or a physical fitness class, a nutrition-focused story corner, and more!
3. What communities are served by the event and what feedback have you received from them?
We are proud that Kids in the Kitchen is free and open to the public so that everyone can come and learn about why proper nutrition and physical activity is so important. Our event is targeted at kids ages 3-13 – ages when learning about your health is so important to establish lifelong, healthy habits. We welcome families from all over the DC area. We also welcome children from JLW’s community partners (local nonprofit organizations with which we volunteer on a regular basis – our current list of partners is here), including Horton’s Kids and the Literacy Lab, two local nonprofit organizations focused on helping kids learn the literacy skills needed to thrive. Our guests love coming – for all different reasons. Some love getting free samples of tasty food; some love donning their very own chef hat; some love a great way to exercise through our yoga and Zumba classes (especially during the cold winter months when playing outside isn’t always an option). We constantly listen to feedback and try to improve our offering to make it something that the community both wants and benefits from!