Congratulations to Kara Perez, Executive Chef - Universities Customer Experience NATIONAL winner for May 2017

April 06, 2018

Using your time and talents to help others is commendable. Doing so and having a lasting, positive impact on surrounding communities is praiseworthy! 

Kara Perez, Executive Chef II, at Binghamton University worked with CHOW (a local food bank) to design a cooking program. Broome Eats, Dining on a Dime is a brand new interactive program developed by CHOW and Binghamton University Dining Services to teach low income families how to plan, prepare, and cook healthy meals on a shoestring budget. 

Each family attended a weekly class, taught by Kara, for four consecutive weeks. Each week a different day part was taught. Kara began week 1 with breakfast, week 2 was lunch, week 3 was dinner, and the final week was a snack. All family members were encouraged to attend, including children 5 years old and up! 

The class began with discussions on food safety, meal planning, grocery shopping, and how to utilize left-overs. Next they created the meal as a group and finally they sat together to enjoy the meal they prepared.

At the end of the four-week program, each family took home a recipe book and the kitchen tools they used during classes so they could put their newly-learned skills to use. 

This program will run continuously throughout the year.

By partnering with CHOW and St. Michael’s Church, Kara is teaching life skills to families all over the county. Her ability to make all the families feel welcome and give them a sense of belonging to the community has been immeasurable. Kara's direction and involvement in this project has brought recognition to Binghamton University’s commitment to help the community and help stomp out hunger. 

Benefits include: 

  • nutritional information 
  • improving community relationships and helping fight hunger 
  • cook skills 
  • shopping tips 
  • food safety 
  • proper cooking techniques / skills 
  • how to read a recipe

See comments below from Tom Lasarso, Director of Retail Operations: 

We are thrilled to have Kara’s talents presented in a way that benefits our community. Kara has eagerly taken on a project to teach cooking classes with families from CHOW programs. This program called Broome Eats, Dining on a Dime is designed to teach low income families how to plan, and cook meals with nutritional value on a limited budget. A series of four classes is held in which Kara has prepared every detail, from a recipe binder to HACCP instruction and how to shop will be taught. Kara’s enthusiasm and passion for such a program makes her the perfect candidate to spearhead this community effort. 

Thank you, Kara, for all you do and for your contributions to the communities surrounding Binghamton University. You are truly an ambassador for Sodexo and the Stop Hunger initiative!