The average daily census for pediatric inpatients at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center was 21 during 2006. Sixteen of those beds were filled by children from medical centers all around the region.
The families of these often seriously ill children have to find places to stay and eat, often on very short notice. This takes resources that many just don't have.
A small team of families and coworkers just hosted the first Cooking for Kids event at a colleague's home. A four-course, seasonal dinner in good company was enjoyed and a significant amount of money was raised.
Our hospital's pediatric social workers now have the beginnings of a fund to use to help the families of our youngest patients. Quarterly events are planned, and a number of people have already stepped forward to help in the future, including someone from another facility who sends patients to us.
This recipe is probably not a dinner party dish. But it's healthy, tasty, and very simple. It uses farro, a robust grain easily found at Italian delis, and fresh vegetables.