C.H.E.F. cooking class information has moved to the Samaritan Health Services website. For more information, please contact Krystal Boyechko at: [email protected]


Serving Lincoln, Linn and Benton Counties

The CHEF Project is a three-year grant awarded to the Coast to the Cascades Community Wellness Network to implement the Culinary Health Education and Fitness (CHEF) Project in three counties in western Oregon. The overarching goal of the CHEF Project is to assist the children and families of Lincoln, east Linn and rural Benton counties attain higher quality of lives free of preventable disease due to illnesses related to poor nutrition and obesity.

CHEF tackles obesity head on; through a two-prong approach, the CHEF Project will:

  • Provide 70 nutrition-focused culinary education courses

The five-week culinary education courses will provide experiential nutrition-focused culinary education to over 1,500 children and families. The CATCH program is a comprehensive physical activity and nutrition education program that teaches children the importance of healthy eating and physical activity to improve overall health. CATCH will increase physical activity levels of elementary and middle school children in targeted rural communities. In addition, students will be exposed to new fresh fruits and vegetables through programs like Tasting Tables, which provides samples of fresh fruits and veggies in schools and Pick of the Month, which highlights seasonal fruits and veggies. CATCH will serve at least 1,700 children in Lincoln, east Linn and rural Benton counties. 

Together these programs will build a culture of health in our rural communities. 

Healthy Youth Program - Culinary Health Education Curriculum

The Culinary Health Education portion of this grant in east Linn and rural Benton counties will be implemented through a partnership between the Healthy Youth Program and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest (COMP-NW). Healthy Youth Program staff will train Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students in the Lifestyle Medicine track from COMP-NW to teach our five-week cooking curriculum in east Linn and rural Benton county communities between 2018-2021. 

We are excited to collaborate with Samaritan Health Services, COMP-NW and the Coast to Cascades Community Wellness Network to better meet the needs of Oregonians by expanding our outreach programs to rural parts of Linn and Benton counties.

Volunteering with the CHEF Project

COMP-NW students will make up a large portion of our volunteer base, but volunteer positions in these classes are open to anyone interested in health promotion who is able to commit to attending all five classes in a given five week session.

Interested in volunteering to lead CHEF cooking classes?

Check out the volunteer position descriptions:

If you are interested in volunteering with current C.H.E.F. cooking classes in East Linn county, please contact Krystal Boyechko at: [email protected] 

Read more about the CHEF Program in this recent article in the Albany Democrat Herald