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'Leave No Person Hungry;' High Schoolers In Turlock Learn To Cook For Afghan Refugees

TURLOCK (CBS13) — "Leave no person hungry," is the mission of a group of teens in Turlock who set out to end hunger in their city.

A successful kitchen moves smoothly, like a dance, and that's exactly what this group has created at their kitchen in Turlock.

A community of high schoolers and chefs alike, all worked together to create an environment that focuses on giving back.

"Kitchen's for Change is just students dedicated towards tackling food insecurities within our community," said Audrey Smallwood, one of the students helping out with the project.

At the restaurant where they've set up camp, there's an atmosphere of teamwork and a focus on the community at large. Although many of the students don't specialize in cooking, their desire to learn and help others fuels their motivation and work ethic.

"Anyone who needs a meal—that's who we're trying to help," said Elias Rabine, a senior at Turlock High School who dreamt up the idea for Kitchens For Change.

The idea spawned during the height of the pandemic, during which time Rabine took it upon himself, with the help of his friends, to implement the project.

Gathering professional chefs and securing access to fully-functional restaurant kitchens, the teenagers have created an environment that will teach them new skills as well as help those in need.

On Sunday, they cooked for Afghan Refugees, who fled months ago to find a safe community in Turlock. Focusing on signature Afghan dishes, the volunteers aim to provide a sense of familiarity to make the refugees feel more at home.

"This experience teaches them empathy and they can take that empathy and apply it to their lives," said one of the advisors of the project. "It's a win-win situation for us."

The advisor for Kitchens For Change wants to see the project grow and plans to share their methods with other, similar clubs to help as many in need as they can.

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