The Vail Valley Foundation, founded in 1981, has an outstanding goal – give all children in Eagle County access to education-based programs that ignite passions and expand their horizons. The foundation identifies gaps and develops, evaluates and funds programs to fulfill youth’s needs. One of these programs, co-founded by Chef Kelly Liken, is Sowing Seeds (est. 2010). Sowing Seeds is a partial beneficiary of the Ski Towns Soups cookbook. This program works with the public schools to introduce gardening into their curriculum. Students, then, integrate their gardening produce into the school cafeteria program. Personally, the mission of Sowing Seeds to get healthy foods into Vail Valley schools is close to our hearts because our school-aged children.
Recently, Sowing Seeds received a major success; they were awarded a grant from the Lowe's Toolbox for Education program. In a Vail Daily article, Susie Davis, the vice president of education for the VVF's Youth Foundation, stated, “this community-minded, ‘farm-to-table' mentality is invaluable in teaching the students the value of working together to make healthy impacts on each others lives.”
This is not unlike the mentality for the Ski Town Soups cookbook project. We encouraged restaurants to embrace their local ingredients and supply a soup recipe to the cookbook that reflects their region. I believe that ski towns are quite interested in the self-sustaining and holistic approaches to life, in that we are all working together towards a common, healthy goal.