I recently came across the organization NextCourse in my travels on the web. As they say, San Francisco is indeed at the forefront of improvement and ever since Alice Waters started the Edible Schoolyards project in 1995, I have been very excited with what is going on down there. Next Course includes a project for teaching women in prisons and half-way houses basic skills in identifying good food, helping them shop at local farmers markets, as well as training them in the variety of ways to prepare foods.
I was born in Berkeley so I confess to getting a bit of patriotic-type pride going when I think about Alice Waters. She is my original chef hero and if it hadn’t been for her ideals and the things she has created to help and improve the situation of the people around her, first locally and then onto the National and International scale, I would have had a lot less faith in humanity and our ability to get past this stupid economy and world we have greedily created to the happy existence for everybody that many of us are currently creating, (or at least thinking about creating).