As we eagerly anticipate the launch of our newest initiative made possible by Publix Super Markets Charities, the Charlie Cart Program, we are thrilled to introduce a groundbreaking opportunity for youth empowerment and healthy living.

Launching at Boys & Girls Clubs’ Morningside Elementary Club on Thursday, March 28th at 3:45 PM, the Charlie Cart Program is designed to provide hands-on learning experiences and is poised to revolutionize how children approach nutrition and culinary skills. With a focus on accessible ingredients and practical cooking techniques, the Charlie Cart Program will equip participants with the knowledge and confidence to make healthy choices on any budget.

Rene Motto, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County Director of Education, says, “Diet and nutrition are essential elements in physical and emotional well-being. Kids need to understand how to make good choices in order to fuel their bodies so they can think clearly and feel their best. In addition, the Charlie Cart recipes are relevant in that they don’t call for fancy, high-priced ingredients that aren’t attainable in most households. Kids will learn that nutrition on a budget is possible and that they can play an active role in nourishing their bodies/minds at home and later in life. It is our goal to provide our members with meaningful and relatable experiences that result in learning that is transferable to real life.”

Through a dynamic curriculum that includes learning about different cultures, participants will embark on a journey of discovery, exploring the origins of ingredients, mastering kitchen safety protocols, and experimenting with diverse recipes. From snacks to full meals, our program will offer a comprehensive range of culinary experiences, ensuring that every participant finds inspiration in the kitchen.

But the Charlie Cart Program is about more than just cooking—it’s about preparing our youth for success in an ever-changing world. This program speaks to our commitment to workforce development as it is the perfect precursor for members who may end up in food service jobs/careers. The lessons will prepare members for success in various food service jobs and on various food service certifications. By fostering teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, we aim to empower participants to take charge of their futures and become leaders in their communities. 

Motto says, “In my view, The Charlie Cart project opens the door to many opportunities. Eventually, we hope to engage families in culminating, end-of-year events where members share their culinary skills with their families. The Charlie Cart project could also open the door for community outreach projects where our members prepare and serve food to those in need.”