Foodwise Kids

Foodwise Kids is a free program for elementary school classes that uses the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market as a classroom for teaching students to love vegetables and fruits through comparative tastings, exploring the market, and a hands-on cooking lesson. The program takes place during the school year and serves primarily low-income students.

Foodwise Kids field trips begin with a produce tasting that features fruits or vegetables likely to be unfamiliar to the students. The students are urged to be open-minded and not to “yuck” other people’s “yum.” The group discusses why farmers markets are special and learns about the California growing seasons. Then the children venture into the market in small groups with their chaperones to select produce for their cooking class, using tokens provided by CUESA. They complete a worksheet that encourages them to meet farmers and ask questions about where and how their food is grown.

Armed with produce and newfound knowledge, the children return to the kitchen to participate in a cooking class led by our Market Chef, Theresa Salcedo. Chef Theresa and CUESA volunteers discuss seasonality and sustainability and teach students basic cooking skills, such as how to properly use a knife and make a vinaigrette. The students prepare a dish together using the ingredients they purchased. At the end of the class, the students eat what they just cooked.

Since the Foodwise Kids program launched in fall of 2012, more than 1,700 students from San Francisco public elementary schools have participated.

Help us empower the next generation of eaters by supporting Foodwise Kids »

Are you interested in getting involved? Become a Foodwise Kids volunteer!

We’re looking for individuals who love cooking and working with children to assist at our Foodwise Kids classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Read the description of duties here. Contact Foodwise Kids Program Coordinator Theresa Salcedo at for the next steps in volunteering.

Are you a teacher interested in bringing your class to a Foodwise Kids program?

Foodwise Kids programs take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. To apply for a date, please download, complete, and return the application form (PDF) to Foodwise Kids Program Coordinator Theresa Salcedo at or fax to 415-291-3275. Priority is given to San Francisco Unified School District schools with a high rate of eligibility for free and reduced-price lunch.

Read stories, student quotes, and teacher testimonials about Foodwise Kids:

Photos courtesy of Bonnie Tse and her first-grade class at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School.



CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »