Planting seeds for a healthier, more compassionate future: CAA’s work with north Minneapolis youth

October 5, 2023


Chocolate chip cookie hummus ingredients—one of the dishes Tamuno cooked up for the youth!

We’re excited to share about a recent project with young people in the Shingle Creek area of north Minneapolis. Tamuno Imbu, our community organizer, held a series of classes aimed at engaging youth in Creekview Park. This project is a collaboration with the Park District. It aims to introduce youth to the idea of a plant-based diet and help them develop their leadership skills.

Over the course of three Thursdays, Tamuno met with young people aged 12-17 who often spend time at the park. He engaged them in conversations about the benefits of eating plant-based foods and shared delicious vegan foods. At the same time, the park district had a leadership initiative, and we joined forces to incorporate leadership training into our classes.

During these sessions, the young participants enjoyed such vegan treats as vegan shakes and spaghetti. (Check out our information below for some of the recipes he used). This not only satisfied their taste buds but also showed them that plant-based meals can be tasty. It opened their eyes that it is possible to eat a diet that is kinder to the planet and their own health.

Pumpkin Brownies, a big hit with the youth!

We understand that these young individuals may not have control over what they eat at home. However, our main focus is on planting the seeds of knowledge and curiosity in their minds. We hope to inspire them to explore plant-based options in the future when they have more control over their food choices.

More than 15 young people attended the classes, with three dedicated youth joining us for the entire series. One young person named AJ said, “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time!” Right now, we are evaluating the impact of the project to decide its future. We will look at how to make it even more beneficial for the participants if we continue.

We also engage with youth through programs like Step Up. As part of that work they are invited to join CAA’s monthly online cooking class. There they learn more about plant-based cooking and nutrition. Their attendance shows a growing interest in plant-based living among school-aged youth.

By investing in the education and empowerment of our young community members, we are sowing the seeds for a healthier and more compassionate future.

Making the featured dishes for the youth:

Pumpkin Brownies: Tamuno shared his secrets:  “Just the can of pumpkin and the plant based brownie mix in a bowl mixed together with no other ingredients. They really liked seeing that! It was something I baked ahead of time, (Baked at 350 until a toothpick is clean; approx. 40 minutes. ) It was prepared one on site so they could see the mixture combine and the staff enjoyed themselves with the second pan.”

The recipe he used to make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dessert Hummus for the you:

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