Sunflower Hill Receives Grant From East Bay Community Energy

May 4, 2021

Grant will support residential and non-residential cooking programs

Sunflower Hill announced today that it has been awarded a grant from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE). The grant, totaling $1,250 will be used to help support Sunflower Hill residential and non-residential cooking programs.

“We’re thankful to East Bay Community Energy for this grant,” said Edie Nehls, Executive Director at Sunflower Hill. “Cooking is a critical skill for those wishing to live independently, and we’re thrilled that our cooking classes have become so popular.”

“A fundamental part of EBCE’s engagement with the community is issuing grants to local non-profit organizations that make our community so vibrant, like Sunflower Hill. As we just launched our 100% carbon-free electricity service to Pleasanton last month, we look forward to joining the community and supporting local charitable efforts for years to come.”

The grant will be used to purchase materials and supplies for the organization’s cooking programs. Sunflower Hill offers virtual, non-residential cooking classes that are designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Taught via Zoom, Cooking with Teacher Abby classes are interactive and build independent living skills through cooking discussions, teacher demonstrations, and group activities. Participants can either cook along with the instructor who provides step-by-step guidance during class time, or choose to enjoy and learn while watching the cooking demonstrations. All participants learn safe kitchen skills, such as how to read a recipe, how to measure ingredients, and how to prepare a cooking station. Recipes introduce cooking basics, build on practices learned in previous weeks, and incorporate the use of fresh, organic produce from the Sunflower Hill Garden to highlight the importance of healthy eating habits.

Sunflower Hill also offers residential cooking classes for Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch residents who opt into the Meal Plan. Each class is currently virtual and taught by Chef Claudia Castillo Holley. Once COVID restrictions allow, classes will be taught in-person in the Irby Ranch commercial kitchen. Each participating resident receives a bundle of produce from the Sunflower Hill Garden each week for a period of six weeks. Residents then cook along with Chef Claudia, who has created simple, healthy recipes specifically designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Chef Claudia has designed each class to support independent living. As a result, curriculum focuses on simple meal planning, proper food storage, healthy eating, and best uses for leftover produce to minimize food waste.