Shawnee Mission culinary arts students make 250 meals for families in need with backing of Patrick Mahomes’ charity

Kids Feeding Kids

Shawnee Mission culinary arts students are the first to participate in the "Kids Feeding Kids: program, funded by the 15 and Mahomies Foundation. The students this week are preparing 250 family-sized meals to distribute Thursday and Friday. Above, two culinary arts program at work at Broadmoor Bistro.

Shawnee Mission students in the district’s culinary arts program this week are preparing and distributing 250 meals to families in need.

It’s the product of a new initiative funded, in part, by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ charitable foundation.

Matt Ziegenhorn, an SMSD entrepreneur leadership instructor, said he was approached nearly two years ago by Tamara Weber, executive director of Kansas City, Mo., nonprofit Pete’s Garden, with the idea of finding a way to both reduce food waste and meet the needs of struggling families in the district.

Shortly thereafter, the district and Pete’s Garden pitched an idea to the 15 and Mahomies Foundation, Mahomes’ nonprofit, to feed local families through culinary instruction facilities like Shawnee Mission’s Broadmoor Bistro.

A $15,000 grant from the 15 and Mahomies Foundation is now paying for 10 “Kids Feeding Kids” programs — and Shawnee Mission’s is the first.

Students have been preparing family-sized pot pies this week and, along with Hy-Vee salad bags, will distribute them to families Thursday and Friday.

The district estimates the food will feed more than 1,000 individuals.

“We know that food provides comfort, food provides happiness and nourishment,” Ziegenhorn said. “We hope that our students have the ability to see what their skill sets can do and impact 250 families right here in our community.”

Here’s a look at how Shawnee Mission’s first “Kids Feeding Kids” program went this week:

Kids Feeding Kids celery
Students chopped up celery, carrots, onions and potatoes for chicken pot pies, Chef Instructor Steve Venne said.
Kids Feeding Kids kettles
Five pounds of butter, nine pounds of onions and seven pounds of flour are poured into the large kettles, Venne said. This turns into a roux, he said.
Venne (above) said thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, 10 pounds of celery, 30 pounds of chicken and four pounds of peas all went into the mix, as well.
Venne said since it’s nearly halfway into the school year, his culinary arts students are taking direction well, but “Kids Feeding Kids” has been a good way to get students to experience making larger volumes of cooking.
Kids Feeding Kids pie crusts
Pre-baked pie crusts are used for the pot pies, which is the main course. Families will also receive a salad kit from Hy-Vee.
Students are working on their “Kids Feeding Kids” meals while simultaneously keeping up with other culinary arts work and regular prepping for the Broadmoor Bistro.
Keith Buford, a Shawnee Mission Northwest junior, above, said he feels good about helping families through “Kids Feeding Kids.” “That’s what I want to do later in life — help people,” Buford said. “Help families and young ones so that I kind of leave my thumbprint on the world.”
A chicken pot pie before baking. Venne said the final product will have the pie crust on top and bottom, and will be ready to eat after about a 25-minute bake in the oven.