In 2008, Marc Vetri and business partner Jeff Benjamin created Vetri Community Partnership (VCP).
Vetri Community Partnership began as an effort to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), which raises funds and awareness for pediatric cancer causes, cures and research. Marc and Jeff held the first Great Chefs Event in 2006 with 8 local chefs and 100 guests. They raised $50,000 for ALSF. 12 years later, the annual event continues to raise proceeds that are now split between ALSF and VCP. Vetri and Benjamin’s vision has inspired chefs around the country, with culinary fundraisers for ALSF now active in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.
Motivated by these results, Vetri and Benjamin decided to leverage their own expertise on food and nutrition for the benefit of children. They tackled the pressing issue of childhood obesity and poor nutrition through “Eatiquette,” the Vetri Method for school lunch. Eatiquette transforms cafeteria lunch into a family-style learning experience that encourages healthy eating habits and fosters an appreciation for fresh, nutritious meals.
In the summer of 2010, ESF Dream Camp, a five-week day camp for at-risk children in Philadelphia adopted the Vetri Method under the direct guidance of Marc Vetri and Chef Jeff Michaud. While remaining within the federal guidelines for government-subsidized school meals, Vetri and Michaud designed menus and prepared locally grown and freshly made lunches daily for more than 300 campers. The children were introduced to a variety of foods that were visually appealing and nutritionally sound. Campers also got the chance to spend time with the chefs learning about nutrition, investigating the ways their food gets from a garden or a farm to their plates and receiving tips on food preparation. A special emphasis was placed on social interaction and communication, which was done by conducting all meals in an interactive family style manner. Dream Campers have enjoyed the Vetri Community Partnership’s Eatiquette program every summer since, and in 2012 the program expanded to include Dream Camp in Hartford, Connecticut, plus several schools in the Philadelphia area.
Through our support of this and other programs, Vetri Community Partnership remains committed to our belief that children who have healthy bodies and healthy minds have the opportunity to create healthy lives for themselves.