Join our community of monthly donors bringing food to families in need

The Tablesetters invest in healthy, home-cooked food for all

Join our community of monthly donors bringing food to families in need image




The Tablesetters invest in healthy, home-cooked food for all

Help us set a table where everyone belongs

The Tablesetters are a community of donors committed to the belief that every family in the Bay Area deserves access to the healthy food and cooking skills they need to eat good food every day.

Tablesetters are among the most important and cherished members of our 18 Reasons family because they help fund our Cooking Matters program for low-income families on a monthly basis. By becoming a recurring monthly donor, you will make an invaluable investment in 18 Reasons' community programs, and you'll have an immediate impact on a neighbor facing food insecurity.

This small but mighty group proves every month how unstoppable we are when we work together.

The Tablesetters are a group of passionate and determined givers on a mission to provide access to healthy food and food-skills education for low-income families throughout the Bay Area.

By giving anything you can on a monthly basis, you are fueling the crucial work that 18 Reasons does to:

  • create equity and belonging in our community,
  • build families' food security, and
  • teach families healthy home cooking skills to ensure better health for participants.

Your secure, automatic monthly gift will help us provide healthy food and cooking classes for families in need all year round! Monthly donations help stretch the benefit of your gift: for you, for us, and for the students in our Cooking Matters program.

18 Reasons teaches more than 3,000 low-income families each year how to buy, cook, and eat good food on a tight budget.

18 Reasons is a nonprofit cooking school whose vision is to create equity and belonging through the transformative and healing power of home cooking. We offer two food education programs. At our 18th Street Kitchen in San Francisco, we host paid cooking classes with chefs from around the world, and ticket sales help support our free programming for low-income families. Through our Cooking Matters program, we offer grocery donations paired with free cooking and nutrition classes to low-income families throughout the Bay Area.

We use evidence-based, learner-centered Cooking Matters curricula proven to help our participants make lasting healthy changes and enjoy improved food security. Our interactive classes pair hands-on cooking practice with culturally appropriate nutrition discussions and healthy grocery donations.

The food skills education we provide allows food-insecure households to tap into their ingenuity and make the best possible use of their food resources. Tablesetters are a vital partner in 18 Reasons' ability to reach even more families with grocery donations and health education.

Your monthly donation will fund:

  • Healthy grocery donations for families facing food insecurity;
  • Live, hands-on healthy cooking classes; and
  • Nutrition education discussions facilitated by Peer Health Educators.

Tablesetters are putting food on the tables of our neighbors facing hunger.

Due to COVID-19, hunger is on the rise in the Bay Area. 1 in 4 children and 1 in 6 adults in the Bay Area are currently at risk of food insecurity. Last spring, 18 Reasons quickly ramped up our food distribution capacity at the onset of this crisis, in order to get healthy food into the hands of low-income families affected by coronavirus restrictions. Almost overnight, we increased our food distribution by over 300%.

We provided more than 80,000 pounds of healthy food to food-insecure households in 2020, but the calls keep coming, and we need your help to meet increased demand.

Meet Yasmine, a beneficiary of The Tablesetters' generosity

We want to ensure that every family who needs our help is able to access the healthy ingredients and food skills education they need to buy, cook, and eat good food every day.

Meet Yasmine, who can tell you in her own words the way that Cooking Matters changed her life:

Yasmine joined our Cooking Matters at Home online series this spring after she heard about it through her local public library. Before her Cooking Matters series, she felt like the walls were closing in around her. Like so many parents, she had been balancing work duties, childcare duties, and housework on top of sharing a small space with two school-aged kids. She found her mental health slipping:

"Because of what I call my shelter-in-place depression, I found myself unable to get to the grocery store to buy the ingredients I needed to cook anything. Cooking felt impossible on top of everything else we have going on, and buying healthy food for me plus the kids is ridiculously expensive." - Yasmine, CM graduate

Recognizing that she needed support in order to keep her family eating well, she signed up for Cooking Matters at Home and started receiving a weekly 20-lb. box of healthy grocery donations and attending live healthy cooking classes online.

"At the beginning, the only real cooking I did each week was in your classes. The key element that allowed me to participate was the meal kits that you so painstakingly prepared and delivered. Providing the ingredients I needed helped me feel like I could cook healthy for us, at least those three recipes a week."

As her Cooking Matters series progressed, Yasmine was inspired to try new recipes, encourage her kids to join her in the kitchen preparing healthy meals, and brave the grocery store to get more fresh foods to complement what 18 Reasons delivered to her.

"Thank you so much for giving me the chance to participate in your amazing Cooking Matters series. My teachers are outstanding leaders and so creative, as well as deeply kind and inspirational people. They helped me remember why it’s worth it to cook fresh and healthy food at home and showed me how to make cooking easy, quick, and fun and keep our food costs down. Now that my series is over, I miss it, but I have kept on cooking."

The Tablesetters made an indelible impact on Yasmine's family. While we have been able to reach Yasmine's family, there are still thousands more families we have yet to reach through Cooking Matters, and The Tablesetters are helping us change that.

Recurring monthly gifts afford 18 Reasons a precious resource: stability.

When you become a Tablesetter, you not only help our Cooking Matters participants, you also help 18 Reasons have some predictability when it comes to what funds we will have available each month to enable us to provide much-needed services.

Your loyal support and investment in our community's well-being fuels our mission and provides healthy food for families, day in and day out!