News from Ceres

Happy New Year! 
In this issue:  
 Letter from Cathryn
Quote from a former
   Teen Board Member

Upcoming Classes & Events
   2018 Classes and Orientations
   Kids Can Cook! Library Classes
   Santa Rosa Impala's Club
   Ms. McLoone's 3rd grade class
Recent News
   You May Have Missed
   Heartfelt letters from
   Candler and Coco
   Follow us on
   Social Media: SocialMedia

    Follow us on Twitter     View on Instagram

If you're looking for some new ways to cook and eat, or ways to connect with your community, I hope you'll enjoy this month's newsletter. You can find out about our upcoming volunteer orientations (did you know that we'll soon offer regular volunteer shifts on Saturdays in Sebastopol?), preview our schedule of healing foods classes for kids and adults (offered in Marin and Sonoma counties), and perhaps be inspired to act as a "Ceres Angel" from your home kitchen, wherever you live. 

If there's anything you'd like to see in our newsletters this year, please drop us a line at And look out for an update on our participation in California's medically-tailored meal pilot next month. 

In Gratitude,  

Cathryn Couch
Founder & Executive Director

NutritionArticle Ceres in your Kitchen
By Deborah Ramelli, Communications Director
This month, with cold and flu season in full swing, I want to invite you to bring a bit of the magic of Ceres into your own kitchen. Many people tell us how meaningful our work is, nourishing our neighbors to help them navigate a serious illness like cancer, and empowering teens with the skills, knowledge and inspiration to cook healing meals and make a difference in their community.

We do this for 150 clients and their families every week, in three kitchens and two gardens, with the help of hundreds of teen chefs & gardeners, and hundreds more adult volunteers. But we started out with just a handful of clients and teens, working just one afternoon a week.
So the next time that you hear from a friend, co-worker or family member that they've got the flu, or a cold, or a cancer diagnosis, consider being their angel by preparing them a healthy meal, infusing it with your love and care, and delivering to their doorstep. Chances are, your friend won't be the only one to benefit. No matter what your skill level, it can be deeply satisfying to cook for someone. That's especially true when you realize what a difference that meal makes. It just feels good.
Feeling inspired? Here are a few tips to get you started...
Ceres' Client Manager, Lili Gunter, offers a few tips for reaching out to someone who's ill. Things that are generally okay to say include:
  • Tell me what would feel helpful?
  • OKAY to say "I don't know what to say."
What not to do or say:
  • Personalize a declined offer
  • Offer opinions
  • Ask broad questions like "What can I do for you"?
  • Say things like, "everything happens for a reason" or "well you look great"-best not to focus on appearance-may decrease likelihood of sharing truths
  • Avoid comparison stories
  • Interrupt silence-silence can be golden
Your friend may respond best to a concrete offer of support: "I'd like to bring you a home-cooked meal on Tuesday" for example. Once she's made you aware of any foods she needs to avoid, you'll be ready to proceed with your plan.
If you like company in your kitchen, consider inviting a friend, your spouse/partner, or a child to join you.
A good place to start is with a simple soup or stew. These are generally easy to make. Thais Harris, Ceres' Nutrition Education Manager, likes them because they're warming, hydrating, easy to adapt to dietary restrictions, mineral-rich, easy to digest, and deeply comforting.
Start with a home-made broth, which really makes a difference in both nutrition and taste, and is simple and inexpensive to prepare.   

For inspiration, clear instructions and even helpful videos, visit Rebecca Katz's blog. Rebecca is a long-time friend of Ceres, and one of our Nutritional Advisors.   She's the author of numerous cookbooks, including Clean Soups. Her Magic Mineral broth  was the basis for the Immune Broth we've been making for years at Ceres. Her beautiful blog also includes a recipe for chicken broth, and numerous soups and stews based on these two broths. 
Have a look, choose your recipe and gather your ingredients. Buy enough so you can make a double recipe and nourish yourself, too. If you like company in your kitchen, consider inviting a friend, your spouse/partner, or a child to join you.

Consider taking a moment before you begin to slow down and bring to mind the reason you're in your kitchen today. Take a few deep breaths, perhaps closing your eyes and picturing the person you're cooking for. Remind yourself of why you're standing there, and set an intention for your endeavor. "May Joe be nourished by this food and feel my love and care," for example. Put on some music. Discover cooking as an experience, not a chore. 
Centering yourself to be more fully present in the moment will make the experience more enjoyable for you, and it'll make a difference in the meal you prepare. Come on, you're thinking. New age woo-hoo nonsense. Maybe. But our clients tell us otherwise. They write to us time and again to say they could feel the love in the food. 
Nourishing food. Love. They're powerful medicine for the heart and body. In just one evening, you can be a Ceres angel. Let us know how it goes. Write us at , or post to social media with #CeresAngel and tag us @cerescommunityproject so others can be inspired by your action.
UpcomingEvents Upcoming Classes & Events

Check out our 2018 calendar-
New classes and orientation dates!
To see all classes and orientation dates, click here.  
To sign up, click the link below each class.
Volunteer Orientation (Youth Only) San Rafael 
February 21 
Healing Foods Basics Class|Comidas Curativas Basicas, En Espanol!
February 28    
Santa Rosa
6:00 - 8:00 pm 

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.
Sebastopol Regional Library 
February 17 
12:00 - 1:00pm
Windsor Regional Library 
February 23
Sonoma Valley Regional Library 
March 9
Sign Up Here 
To view all library classes click here.

You can also register by visiting your local Sonoma County Library.
  SocialMediaFeatCeres Social
These were your favorite 6 Instagram Posts in 2017
Want to know what each post was about? Click each photo to find out more


CommCaresCommunity Cares Thank You 

Santa Rosa Impala's Club: thank you for supporting Ceres!

We thank Santa Rosa Impala's Club for their visit and donation, from their annual Cure for Cancer Low Rider show. Our parking lot has never looked more envysome. Thank you, Rudy and friends!!
A big thank you to Ms. McLoone's 3rd grade class

Thank you to Ms. McLoone's Third Grade class from Apple Blossom School, for making holiday cards and beautifully wrapped teas festooned with jingle bells. Their creations were part of the gift bags we delivered to all our clients in December. An extra dose of cheer and love from these sweet kids.

RecentNewsRecent News You May Have Missed

Candler, Coco & Nicole

Two of our long-time Teen Leaders, siblings Candler and Coco, have recently relocated to Southern California after losing their family home in the wildfires. They sent heartfelt letters reflecting on their time at Ceres...                                                 
Dear Cathryn and the Ceres Community,

For over six years, Ceres has been like a second family to me. When I first started volunteering at Ceres in February of 2011, I was a wide-eyed 13-year-old who had barely set foot in a kitchen. I didn't know what to expect. I initially joined because I needed community service hours for my synagogue, and Ceres sounded infinitely better than any other option. From the minute I set foot in the kitchen for the orientation, I knew that Ceres was going to be a place I volunteered at for many years to come. I was welcomed with open arms by Margaret, Chef Rob, and some truly amazing Teen Leaders. For the first couple of months in the kitchen, I barely talked. A Teen Leader took me under her wing, and I flourished. I came out of my shell and helped bring the Ceres spirit to every teen or Mentor Chef that walked in the doors. 

In the years that followed, I became a Teen Leader myself and watched many other fabulous teens mature and grow. I had the distinct pleasure of helping Ceres move from a small rented kitchen in Sebastopol to a facility that has been their own for several years. I cannot thank the Ceres staff enough for the honor of asking me and my sister, Coco, to help start the Santa Rosa kitchen and Café at the SAY Dream Center. It was truly amazing to help a whole other group of teens learn valuable skills while doing great things for those in need.

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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. 

Ceres Logo 2012
We create health for people, communities and the planet through love, 
healing food and empowering the next generation.