About Us

“End the Cycle of Hunger & Poverty”

What We Do


— Photo by Keisha Register-Faulkenberry

We established the Food for Thought Learning Institute to teach vulnerable members of the Oklahoma City Metro Area basic food preparation, to help them overcome the cycle of  hunger and poverty in Oklahoma:

  • Basic kitchen safety
  • Preparing delicious food
  • Nutritional knowledge
  • Smart shopping techniques

We are currently setting up our first teaching kitchen facility in Norman. If your organization has even a basic kitchen, the Institute can come to you.

Our future plans include the expansion of this program to encompass poverty-stricken areas throughout the U.S. to end hunger, ultimately rendering programs like this obsolete.

How You Can Help

The Food for Thought Learning Institute runs entirely on your donations.1 We currently need:

  • New or gently-used kitchen items (e.g., cutting boards, colanders, strainers, pots & pans, etc.)
  • Appliances (e.g., refrigeration)
  • Funding
  • Volunteers

Accomplishments (So Far …)

Pouring Fritatta Batter

Instructional chef Karen Sonntag demonstrates a frittata at Food and Shelter Inc. — Photo by Keisha Register-Faulkenberry

Now in Our Third Year

We partnered with 12 organizations in Norman and Oklahoma City. We taught nearly 100 classes and almost 1300 kids and adults to make delicious and nutritious meals and smart snack choices.


Thru our ongoing partnership with the Norman non-profit program, Bridges, we teach classes as part of their life skills program. Students learn by doing: chopping, sautéeing, and using the ingredients that happen to be at hand.

Cooking Class at the Center for Children and Families

The Youngest among Us (Neighborhood Center Summer Enrichment Program)

We also partnered with the Center for Children & Families to teach classes for 4th- and 5th-grade boys. We taught the boys basic kitchen tool techniques. Children in this challenging age group are frequently left “in charge” at home, boosting the need for meal preparation skills. We currently teach classes thru their Neighborhood Center Summer Enrichment Program.

Our partners include:

Our 1st Grants!

We are proud to be recipients of Norman Community Foundation grants 2 years in a row!

Kids’ Camp

An ongoing partnership with the City of Norman’s Planet Reaves Kids Camp, we teach a 10-week program for children ages 5 – 12. Students learned about healthy and fun snack preparation.


In addition to the cooking class, we taught at the Y’s Camp Classen (Davis, OK). We work closely with YMCA’s 5210 Healthy Kids Initiative.


Young students enjoying class

Board of Directors