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Circle City Prep to host Black History Month bake sale

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Circle City Prep’s (CCP) Culinary Club have been preparing for the school’s Black History Month bake sale. In collaboration with The Patachou Foundation, CCP’s bake sale is an opportunity for students to use their cooking skills to learn about entrepreneurship and strengthen their community from within.

“How have we employed our talents to help ourselves, to help our communities? Let’s focus on the legacy of entrepreneurship. Let’s focus on the legacy of self-reliance and determination to employ our talents to serve our communities and ourselves,” said Shannon Mitchell, culinary director of The Patachou Foundation.

Mitchell worked with the culinary club at CCP to develop the idea and format of the bake sale, which was inspired by the story of Georgia Gilmore. Gilmore was a cook and activist from Montgomery, Alabama, who used her cooking talents to help fund and feed the Montgomery bus boycott activists.

“You don’t hear Miss Gilmore’s name as often as Rosa Parks, but her actions were just as critical,” said Julia Turshen, author of the cookbook “Feed the Resistance,” in a 2017 article in the New York Times. “She literally fed the movement. She sustained it.”

The CCP Bake Sale is about more than cooking. It is an exercise in entrepreneurship and using the students’ talents to raise funds to achieve their goals. Funds raised by the bake sale will go toward their Culinary Club.

“So, from that angle, it just became so exciting. Let’s not just cook something, but let’s build a business. Let’s fund our club. Let’s ensure that we’ve got the money to sustain this club for the rest of the school year to do the things that we want to do. And let’s do it by ourselves,” Mitchell said.

CCP is one of several area schools The Patachou Foundation partners with to address their specific needs while providing services to teach children about healthy eating and helping the schools serve children healthy meals. Much of the food typically served to students comes from prepackaged meals and is prepared in kitchens, not made from scratch. The Patachou Foundation addresses food insecurity and hunger by working with schools to provide their students with fresh and healthy meal options.

“What’s important to really know is that first of all, one in five kids in Indianapolis suffer from food insecurity, and then also 50% of the calories that all children eat are consumed during school. So, when we look at that, I can say hunger relief can be addressed best through the school because that’s where they’re getting all their calories. We want to make sure that those calories count,” said Mitchell.

Students met Warren Central High School alumnus and NFL player David Bell, who read a children’s book telling the story of Gilmore. Bell worked with Mitchell and other chefs to plan the bake sale, helping to decide what would be served and the price for each baked good.

The students will host the bake sale Feb. 29, during Circle City Prep’s Black History program, which will also feature a series of performances. Before and after the program, students’ parents and families can purchase baked goods made by the Culinary Club.

Contact Racial Justice Reporter Garrett Simms at 317-762-7847

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