PLATINUM2023

TasteWise Kids

Baltimore, MD   |  www.tastewisekids.org

Mission

TasteWise Kids (www.tastewisekids.org) is a non-profit 501c3 organization that inspires kids to explore and experience the world of food and its sources. We are dedicated to educating kids about where their food comes from and to help them to build healthy and informed eating habits. We currently serve students in Maryland in the following jurisdictions: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Harford Counties.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director

Wendy Jeffries

Main address

P.O. Box 5381

Baltimore, MD 21209 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-0772024

NTEE code info

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Too many kids do not know where their food comes from or how to make healthy eating choices. For example, 1 in 3 kids and teens eat fast-food in a given day. We know that having improved access to healthy and quality food is not enough; there is also a great need to provide our youth and their families with the knowledge and skills for making healthy choices and incorporating them into daily eating habits. The root causes of these problems are as varied as the children affected — lack of access, lack of opportunity, lack of income, lack of knowledge, etc. Such problems can persist long after childhood. In the last 20 years, for example, the percentage of overweight children has more than doubled . The solution is far less complex: let kids discover for themselves that “tasty” and “nutritious” are not mutually exclusive. In fact, science has shown that learning healthy eating habits at an early age can make a lasting impression.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Days of Taste

Through our Days of Taste program, 4th graders learn about the elements of taste and the journey of food from farm to table. The Days of Taste program was originally developed by The American Institutes for Wine and Food (AIWF), a national organization, and the Baltimore/Maryland chapter of the AIWF started Days of Taste in the Baltimore area in 1998. TasteWise Kids currently runs the program in Maryland.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

TasteWise Kids workshops are stand-alone, individualized workshops where we teach kids and families where their food comes from and inspiring healthy eating habits. We offer workshops both for kids/youth as well as family workshops as we know the adult is most likely the decision makers of food choices for their families.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

We are piloting new programming that provides high quality, hands-on learning to high school culinary students. We are working with the Restaurant Association of Maryland and its ProStart program to create fresh programs for current CTE high school students in Baltimore City. Through this programming, these high school students will 1) become student mentors/volunteers in our Days of Taste program, 2)
learn how to balance flavors from one of our partner professional chefs, and 3) receive additional nutrition education.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

students and familes

# of salad kits sent home to prepare a healthy meal at home

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Days of Taste

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

each salad kit feeds a family of 4.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

TasteWise Kids inspires kids to explore and experience the world of food and its sources. We firmly believe that kids deserve to:
1. know where food comes from
2. have the knowledge to make their own informed food choices
3. have the skills to prepare their own food

Therefore, we use engaging, hands-on experiences to teach kids about food — where it comes from, why it tastes the way it does, and how to prepare it — which helps them discover what they like and empowers them to build healthy eating habits.

TasteWise Kids operates with a single goal in mind: to offer children fun ways to learn about food and inspire a lifetime of positive, healthy eating habits. We empower children of all ages to think about food in new ways, to explore their own sense of taste and to realize that flavorful, nutritious food and good health go together – naturally. As part of this work, students also benefit from seeing first-hand where food comes from and learning about the importance of agriculture and respecting their environment.

We follow three fundamental principles in our programming:

● Use your hands: We believe students learn best when they can explore actively and reach their own conclusions. Therefore, our programs are designed to teach new concepts and ideas through hands-on activities.
● Ask an expert: We believe there is no substitute for experts in their fields. That is why we invite local chefs, farmers, and other food professionals to help lead our programs.
● Have fun: We believe that students learn the most when they're enjoying themselves. That's why we take a “food enthusiast’s” approach to our programs, focusing on all the senses, the excitement of trying new foods, and the pleasures of eating with family and friends.

Our programming includes our Days of Taste program for 4th graders, food education workshops for kids and families, and providing opportunities to high school culinary students to both build their food knowledge and to act as mentors to younger students.

Our small staff brings to the table expertise in such areas as program design & implementation, data analysis and evaluation, development, teaching, nutrition, biology, and marketing and awareness.

We work with local chefs, farmers, and other food professionals (all who donate their time) to teach our students from multiple perspectives:
● Health and nutrition
● Agriculture and environmental stewardship
● Career Awareness/Development
● Culinary and preparing food to individual taste preference
● Social aspects of eating with friends and family

Because we are a small organization, we also rely on over 75 volunteers each year to provide much of the programming to our students. This is a win-win as the volunteers often learn as much from our chef, farmers, and food professionals as the students do.

We also greatly value partnerships and collaborative work so we partner with other non-profits, universities, local business and individuals on a regular basis.

TasteWise Kids programming is truly interdisciplinary. We use the exploration and enjoyment of food as the vehicle for students to learn about: 1) Culinary skills/taste, 2) Agriculture/food sources, 3) Wellness/health and 4) Career development. Teaching these core elements within one program or workshop makes us unique as other organizations typically focus their work on only 1-2 of these topics. We feel that these topics/elements are very interconnected and provide a broader picture of the whole food system. Therefore, we engage our students across the entire “world of food” by providing new and meaningful experiences and learning in these 4 core elements. Through these experiences, our kids engage in fun and memorable ways to learn about food and inspire healthy eating habits.

Over 4,500 students families in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard, and Harford Counties have participated in our programming each year, including visiting local farms and learning to make healthy meals with professional chefs.

Our signature program, Days of Taste, teaches 4th graders about the elements of taste and the journey of food from farm to table. The program is a three-part interactive learning experience that introduces students to the elements of taste, encourages them to try mixing flavors to change the way food tastes, and allows them to participate in food’s journey from farm to table. The program takes place in the classroom and on a working farm…But it’s not just kids who are having all the fun, it’s a true family affair. For example, parents are invited to come to the farm and over 600 families a year receive a fresh salad kit to make at home, ensuring that the lessons kids are learning through the continuation of these activities once they’re back home.

In the past year, we have started to pilot new program ideas. Specifically, recognizing the need for food knowledge and skills at the high school level, we have targeted Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school students in partnership with organizations such as the Restaurant Association of Maryland. In addition, after being contacted by a variety of other non-profits we realized there is a true need for quality, hands-on food/nutrition educational programming outside of the school day. Therefore, we started to develop and implement stand-alone workshops for a variety of age groups in after school, summer learning, and other out of school settings.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

TasteWise Kids
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

TasteWise Kids

Board of directors
as of 02/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Renee Evans

Pompeian Olive Oil

Term: 2023 - 2021

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/28/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.