News from Ceres

Jordan, we are so touched by your generosity. Thank you for helping us nourish our neighbors who are ill by dedicating your birthday to raising funds for Ceres.

In this issue:  
 Letter from Cathryn
New volunteer

Upcoming Classes & Events
   More Classes
   and Orientations
   Kids Can Cook! Library Classes
   Save the Date for
   the Human Race!
Ceres Social
Recent News
   You May Have Missed
   Thank You!
   Happy Valentines Day!
   Call us to Cater Lunch 
Too Many Emails?
   Follow us on
   Social Media: SocialMedia

    Follow us on Twitter     View on Instagram

Thank you for all you do to help Ceres serve our community. I'm grateful to each and every donor, client, volunteer and well-wisher for partnering with me to help Ceres best serve our clients and the teens in our youth program. I want to share some important changes that will be happening at Ceres over the next several months.

I must start by acknowledging Margaret Howe, our Associate Director, who has made the decision to leave Ceres. It is a huge moment - and loss to all of us - to have Margaret stepping down from her leadership role here at Ceres. I'm deeply grateful for Margaret's partnership over the past nine years. She's helped me be a better leader in countless ways and it's hard for me to imagine Ceres without her passion for our community, her insight and her wisdom.  She has shaped Ceres in significant ways that will carry forward for years to come. Margaret was among the first five staff members that we hired in January 2009. She worked five hours a week as our first Volunteer Manager, then managed the Sebastopol program site, then Sonoma County programs until agreeing to step into her current role as our Associate Director.  Margaret hasn't yet decided what she'll pursue next, and she'll be staying with us to help hire and orient a new director of our programs. We will be planning a celebration for Margaret in April so that we can send her on to what is next for her with love and gratitude. Once we have a date, I'll let you know so you can join us.

You will notice a number of changes at Ceres in the near future. The goal of the changes we're making is to streamline our operations and refocus on our core programs in order to better serve our client and youth programs.

Ceres Café
After careful thought we have made the very difficult decision to close the Ceres Café and redeploy those resources and kitchen capacity towards the Meal Program. 
I firmly believe that opening the Café was the right thing to do, and that it has been a tremendous success. Cole Bendinelli, the Café Manager, along with our café staff and volunteers, have done a fantastic job creating a warm and welcoming place for the community to gather and enjoy delicious, healthy food. The Café has been an incredible opportunity for Ceres to spread its message, make new friends, support young people and so much more. Unfortunately we simply aren't in a financial position to keep doing everything we are doing - especially with the waiting list for our clients growing . Closing the Café will help us refocus on our core programs and free up resources we need to expand the number of clients we're able to serve county-wide. We will close the Café Friday March 9 and have a party for patrons and supporters on Tuesday March 13 from 11:30-1:30. Please join us.

Statewide Medically-Tailored Meal Pilot
As you may know, Ceres is part of a coalition of California meal providers participating in a groundbreaking study to look at how delivering meals designed for patients facing serious illness can both improve their health and reduce healthcare costs. The state-funded study will focus on Medi-Cal patients with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) who are being released from the hospital. The intervention they'll receive from Ceres and our partners includes 90 days of 100% nutrition plus four visits with a registered dietician to learn about how to eat in a way that keeps them healthy. As you know, this is different from the service we provide our regular clients. A staff team has been working together since September to plan for a successful launch of the pilot without negatively impacting our existing meal program.

As part of this planning, we've thoroughly reviewed our menu and made some adjustments to make sure that all of our meals meet heart health requirements, and to add a greater variety of foods that are more familiar to our diverse clients. We're also adding new cooking shifts in Sebastopol, where we will be serving these clients, to make the additional dishes for them. We expect to enroll our first pilot clients in late March.

This is the first multi-agency study of the benefits of providing medically-tailored meals and nutritional education, and has the potential to make healthy food a prescribed part of the treatment plan for certain diseases. We're very excited about that potential, both because it is so in line with our mission, and because it has the potential to bolster the sustainability of Ceres, allowing us to serve more clients.

Adding pasture-raised beef to our menu
This week, we began incorporating meals featuring grass-fed, organic beef into our menu rotation. When consumed in small quantities as part of a whole foods diet, high-quality, sustainably-raised beef can be good for both people and the environment. We believe this change to our menus is an important step towards making our meals more familiar to people from a wider variety of backgrounds. As with all our meals featuring animal proteins, these new dishes will focus on larger amounts of vegetables and whole grains and a smaller portion of protein than is typical in the standard American diet. You can learn more about this change in this month's nutrition article (below).

I recognize that this is a moment of big change here at Ceres. I am deeply grateful to each of you for your commitment to our work. Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
In Gratitude,  
Cathryn Couch
Founder & Executive Director

NewVolunteerOpsNew volunteer opportunities


Volunteers are the heart of Ceres. Come join us for a fun, rewarding and informative way to give back to our wonderful community in Sonoma and Marin counties.

We have a variety of ways for teens and adults to get involved, and we're very excited to let you know that starting in March, you'll be able to volunteer on Saturdays in Sebastopol! If you'd like to learn more about volunteering on Saturdays, please contact Caroline Bañuelos, our Volunteer Relations Manager ( ).
If you're interested in joining our volunteer family, please visit our events calendar to register for one of our one-hour monthly orientations.

NutritionArticle Care for your Heart

By Deborah Ramelli, Communications Director
Since February is Heart Health Month, we wanted to share a few tips for keeping your ticker in tip-top shape. One very simple place to start is to know your blood pressure and monitor it on a regular basis. Your blood pressure (BP) is an important measure of cardiovascular health, and there are many places where you can get it checked for free. Knowing your numbers can be a powerful tool for being proactive about the health of your heart.

Here's a helpful website-- our local United Way office and the Center for Well-being. You can locate a place to get a free BP test, view a simple chart to interpret your BP, and learn about ways to lower your BP through exercise, lifestyle and diet. 

We've all heard that eating too much salt can contribute to high BP. In fact, that's just half of an important equation: the balance of sodium and potassium. Less than 2% of Americans are estimated to consume adequate potassium, and the vast majority get more than the recommended amount of sodium, setting up an imbalance that can lead to high BP and heart disease. When planning your meals for the day, think of consuming a wide variety of delicious, potassium-rich foods, in addition to staying in the healthy range of sodium. Check out this short article to learn more about potassium-sodium balance and see a list of recommended foods.

If you read Cathryn's letter at the start of this newsletter, you may have been surprised to learn that Ceres is now incorporating some pasture-raised organic beef into our menu. Want to learn more about how omnivores can choose to make red meat a part of a healthy, balanced diet? Here's a short summary you may find helpful.

This month we're sharing two recipes that feature potassium-rich, heart-healthy foods. Click here for a smoothie recipe, and here for a delicious Rosemary-roasted Salmon recipe. Want more great recipes? Consider purchasing our Nourishing Connections Cookbook, or check it out from the Sonoma County Library. Enjoy!

TLC for your Heart
1.  Know your numbers  
2. Enjoy plentiful whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, fish and small amounts of pasture-raised poultry and meat 
3. Watch your intake of salt, sugar and other processed foods 
4. Get moving. Even gentle exercise can make a big difference 
5. Quit smoking

teenStory Be the Change

Meet Alex, a Ceres Teen Chef and Gardener. In our garden and kitchen,Alex learned about the problem of food waste making its way into our landfills. Newly employed at a local movie theater serving meals, he noticed vegetable scraps and trimmings were being thrown away. That was just not okay with him. He now goes out of his way to get them to Ceres Community Garden's compost pile. Way to go, Alex!
Quotes Gratitude from a Client

We often receive notes of gratitude from current and past clients. In fact, pictured here is our awesome volunteer receptionist, Mike, and a basket filled with gratitude. We are thankful for all of our notes and delighted to be able to serve our clients.
NewBoardMembers Welcome Our Newest Board Members    

Fintan O'Halloran
Teen Board Member

About Fintan

Fintan O'Halloran, a Teen Leader from the Santa Rosa kitchen, has joined the board. Fintan has been involved since the first day we opened in Santa Rosa. He's in the 10th grade at Maria Carrillo High School and will serve a two-year board term.

"Ceres mission to provide our youth with life skills in the kitchen, our ill with healing food, and educating our community about how to best take care of ourselves and the planet is very much in line with my own principles as a person. I believe that in being part of Ceres I benefit both personally and help the people around me. It would be a privilege to be able to serve my community in the capacity of a board member at Ceres."
- Fintan 
Joe Rogoff 
Board Member

About Joe

Joe Rogoff began his natural foods career in Northern California in 1974. Working at co-ops, small retailers, and running his own local foraging/delivery business, he did just about every job in a grocery store. This prepared Joe for store and multi-unit leadership roles at many Bay Area natural grocers. When Food For Thought, a 3 store chain in Sonoma County where Joe was General Manager, was acquired by Whole Foods Market, Joe came along.

Read Joe's full Bio here 
We're so excited about our new members! Read about all our board members here.
CommCaresCommunity Cares Thank You 

Thank you Santa Rosa Country Club

Thank you Santa Rosa Country Club for holding your Charity Classic fundraiser in support of Ceres. They raised an impressive $7,496.30!

A big thank you to Bill Roby

We received a donation in honor of Bill Roby on the occasion of his retirement. Bill facilitated the Cancer Support Group at Kaiser Santa Rosa for the last 15 years. Several group participants have benefited from Ceres' meals, as well as Bill's "wisdom, sensitivity, professionalism, humor and deep caring". The donation was made "with love and gratitude from the group members"
What a beautiful tribute!

UpcomingEvents Upcoming Classes & Events

Check out our 2018 calendar-
Many classes and orientation dates!
To see all classes and orientation dates, click here.  
To sign up, click the link below each class.
Healing Foods Basics Class|Comidas Curativas Basicas, En Espanol!
February 28    
Santa Rosa
6:00 - 8:00 pm 
Volunteer Orientation (Adult Only) San Rafael 
March 14  
Volunteer Orientation- Sebastopol 
March 19    

Volunteer Orientation (Youth Only) San Rafael 
Click here to register
Kids Can Cook! Classes
Eating the rainbow is easy and fun. This hands-on cooking class, presented by Ceres at Sonoma County library locations for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders is designed to teach children how to make healthy snacks and simple meals.

Space is limited. Please register by using the link below or at the information desk in your local library.
Sonoma Valley Regional Library 
March 9
Sign Up Here

Rohnert Park-Cotati Regional Library 
April 2
Sign Up Here  
To view all library classes click here.

You can also register by visiting your local Sonoma County Library.
HumanRaceSave the Date for the Human Race!

  When is it?
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Rain or shine!

On Saturday, April 28, 2018, join in the fun at Sonoma County's largest collaborative fundraising event. Save the date and remember to watch your inbox for details on how to have fun raising funds for Ceres,
 and be part of the movement to build a healthier and more connected community through the healing power of nourishing food and care for our neighbors.

This years' race features a 3K and 10K run and walk through scenic Santa Rosa Howarth and Spring Lake Parks.   
More About the Human Race

Organized by the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, organizations and businesses recruit walkers/runners/donation-gatherers to raise funds. Funds can be raised for any nonprofit organization, school or church. The run and walk is open to all.


Contact:  or call 707.829.5833.

...stay tuned for more info! 
  SocialMediaFeatCeres Social
These were your favorite 6 Instagram posts in the last month
Want to know what each post was about? Click each photo to find out more


RecentNewsRecent News You May Have Missed

Thank You!

January has been busy at Ceres, we're both reflecting on 2017, and putting our plans into place for the new year. 

And for us, it's a time of gratitude and hope. So, we put together a little video to thank you, our clients, volunteers, donors and well-wishers, for all the ways you helped us touch and transform lives last year through the healing power of food. 

I'm so grateful for your partnership, and I look forward to keeping you up-to-date as 2018 unfolds, with the launch of our medically-tailored meal pilot, new classes, our first-season Santa Rosa garden, and much more. 

With gratitude,

 Cathryn Couch 
  Founder & Executive Director
Happy Valentines Day!

FROM: Ceres

Thanks to you...
Ceres clients are nourished, body and soul.
Teens are embraced as the leaders of the future.
Our community is stronger and healthier.

We're grateful for your partnership!


More Valentine Food Characters here...

* 100% organic, 70% locally sourced
* Box lunches or buffet options from $18 per person
* Plenty of options to meet all dietary needs including 
   Gluten Free and Vegetarian/Vegan
Your purchase supports Ceres Community Project's programs providing free meals to Sonoma and Marin residents with serious illness and educating young people how to cook and eat for health.

For More Information 
* Visit
* Call Nan Costales, Catering Manager, 707·829·5833 ext 304
* Email Nan at

For menu and more info click here. 
TooManyEmails Receiving Too Many Emails?
Are the e-mails you receive from us not relevant to you? We might not have your correct zip code or address on file. E-mail us your zip code/address and we'll make sure to tailor our emails to your location and needs.

Email us at  
Support More Ways to Support Ceres

Join Our Kale Club

Become one of our monthly donors and you'll automatically be enrolled in our Kale Club.
Kale Club membership perks include a monthly email with a collection of delicious and healthy recipes from the Ceres kitchen!

Purchase the Ceres Cookbook

Ceres' Nourishing Connections Cookbook is filled with 
delicious and healthy recipes...
PLUS read about how Ceres came to be, and benefit from the extensive section outlining Ceres' Food Philosophy and hands on strategies to empower you to make healthy change in your life. More details and sample recipes here.

Whole Foods

Visit Whole Foods Market and enjoy a delicious, healthy deli salad or soup adapted from Ceres' Nourishing Connections Cookbook.

Ceres receives a $1.00 donation for every pint purchased. Look for special signage in these Whole Foods locations:

Santa Rosa (Yulupa)
Mill Valley
San Rafael
and other Northern California locations!

Community Cards

Earn funds for Ceres when you shop at Oliver's Markets, Petaluma Market, Fircrest and other local markets.
Pick up your eScrip Community Card the next time you shop, and designate Ceres as your beneficiary. The markets will donate 3-5% of your spending to us.

escrip petaluma mkt escrip olivers
You can easily support Ceres through the purchases you already make on

Visit to choose Ceres as your beneficiary organization and then access Amazon via every time you shop.

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Ceres.


Heart Centered & Love Guided

We are committed to expressing love, trust, respect and integrity in our lives, work and organization. 


Everything Matters

Nothing is left out. We work to have every action and choice lead to the greatest positive impact.


Young People are the Future

Young People are intelligent, responsible, capable, creative and caring, and must be central participants in shaping our collective future.


The Universe has a Purpose

Everything is connected, and life continually invites us to experience gratitude, abundance, connection, community and healing. 

We create health for people, communities and the planet through love, 
healing food and empowering the next generation.