Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 1, 2016:

DISTRICT 4 (Supervisor Warren Slocum) FY 2015-17 Measure A Request: $50,000

Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, East Palo Alto: Creation of a commercial grade kitchen

This is a request to authorize a $50,000 grant to Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula to finance capital improvements to the kitchen facility to be better positioned to serve 200 K-12th grade youth after-school and in the summer from East Palo Alto and the surrounding communities.

This request includes the purchase and installation of:

a) Stove burners to the middle island

b) Upgraded freezer and refrigerator

c) Commercial grade sinks

d) Materials for higher capacity use

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula's vision is that all young people, if they work hard, can live fulfilling lives with a good education, a fair paying job, decent housing, and the ability to raise a family. Their mission is to provide the low-income youth of our community with the opportunities they need to achieve school success.

While the high school programs at the Menlo Park and East Palo Alto clubhouses are buzzing with fantastic energy, it has become increasingly challenging for the organization to create robust programming with resources and high school staff divided between two locations. To improve program quality, recruit more high school students, and guide more youth towards high school graduation, the Club is merging the East Palo Alto (EPA) and Menlo Park high school programs and locating them at the EPA Clubhouse. This will more than double the number of high school students served, from 35 to 80.

Limited kitchen space at the EPA Clubhouse will make it challenging to provide this increased number of students with healthy meals to fuel them throughout the day and evening, as they do currently. Limits to the kitchen facility cause them to restrict the number of students that can participate in the popular healthy cooking classes, which teach youth nutritious cooking and eating habits. The culinary arts program is immensely popular with youth of all ages, and expanding this program to reach more youth is key to recruiting teens to the clubhouses. Once these students join the club provides them with academic support and introduces them to college access programs.

Capital improvements to expand the East Palo Alto clubhouse kitchen will be critical to the success of the East Palo Alto Clubhouse. It is the city’s largest out-of-school center devoted to the unique needs of teens from the community. 

Goals of the Infrastructure Improvements for Which Funding is Requested

In addition to making the current Boys and Girls Club kitchen functional, expanding the existing residential style kitchen into a commercial grade kitchen will allow multiple students to cook at the same time. Cooking classes are a great recruiting tool for high school students, and healthy, home-cooked dinners will fuel the members while creating a space to build community. Some members have shared that BGCP dinners are the only hot meal they receive each day. With an expanded kitchen, they can grow the popular healthy eating and cooking classes by more than 100%, from 90 to 200 students served. An upgraded kitchen will also allow them to cook and serve hot, nutritious dinners each night for 60 middle and high school youth during the school year, and lunches and dinners for 220 high school youth in the summer.

At the time of the original call for Measure A letters of intent, the Boys and Girls Club was not in a position to seek funding for kitchen improvements. They had not contemplated merging the Menlo Park and EPA high school programs, so they did not consider improving the kitchen.

The proposed grant agreement will be administered and managed by the County Manager’s Office. The release of funds will be contingent on the execution of an agreement providing for the County’s confirmation of the expenditure of funds before June 30, 2017 for the purposes stated herein.

Total Measure A Request: $50,000 

Important note: This is copy of the official report -- item 6 on the Board's agenda.