Catalyst Kids Lindbergh is a toddler preschool center in the city of Costa Mesa. The center
has 9 classrooms that provide excellent care to the community with well qualified staff. There is one staff in particular who is often unseen but an integral part of the program. Starting in the early morning, before all the parents and children arrive, Chef Saul starts his day to prepare nutritious meals and snacks for over 150 children a day totaling over 4,000 meals in a given month. Food budgeting is a natural skill of his and this skill has been key in the pandemic to ensure children receive nutritious foods.
Chef Saul states: “Purchase produce whole. Clean, cut and dice at the center. Prepared produce is more than double or triple the price. Yes, it takes more work, but it you will save more money. Buy only seasonal produce.”
When you encounter Chef Saul you will most likely find him with a smile on his face as he is dicing, chopping and grilling up the next meal for the center. When you speak to Chef Saul about his job, the conversation always starts with the children and how they deserve the best nutrition. The amount of love and detail he puts into the food is present in the children’s words.
All the comments from the rooms could not be included in this article, it would take up pages. Here are a few quotes from the children that validates his hard work and passion to child nutrition.
Moana – “Mr. Saul makes food and he lives in the kitchen.”
Matthew- “Mr. Saul makes my favorite spaghetti and meatballs for me.”
Delilah- “He is funny and feeds me lots of food every day.”
Deborah- “I like Tio Saul to bring me food and for all our friends. I call him Tio because that is my favorite name to call him.”
Dominic- “I love you so much because you bring me good food.”
Chef Saul thank you for your hard work, dedication to child nutrition and instilling healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime! You are beyond essential!
This article was submitted to honor Chef Saul and share his story to support future policy making as well as to highlight CACFP programs making a healthy impact on children during the pandemic. Thank you, Irene!
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