Our partner agency, Recovery Café, dedicates its efforts to creating a welcoming and nurturing environment for those who have been traumatized by addiction, homelessness and mental health issues.

Recovery Café Nutrition Program Coordinator Tadashi Oguchi regularly picks up produce and products from our Second Harvest of Silicon Valley warehouse and works with our nutrition department to offer a series of classes on topics related to cooking, nutrition and mindful eating. This partnership allows him to create nutritious meals and to provide training to members to develop skills that will help them boost their confidence in the kitchen.

Tadashi’s job includes menu planning for the week, when he makes sure to include fruits, whole grains, lean meats and lots of vegetables. One of Tadashi’s early challenges at Recovery Café was introducing brown rice to the members

“In the beginning they were hesitant to try brown rice, but I started making it as a side dish regularly and clients got used to it. Now, some of them ask for brown rice as they prefer it over other side dishes.”

Tadashi has noticed a difference in how members are now more conscious about eating for health. Some of the members have even reported positive health outcomes as they have carried the teachings and new concepts to their homes.

For Tadashi, cooking is an expression of love, art and creativity; he puts a lot of emphasis in food presentation, which blends well with the inviting ambience of Recovery Café. The goal is to provide a space where members feel dignified and acknowledged.

“In this loving community, people come to belong, heal and know themselves as loved. Food is such an important component to showcase this love and care. We would not be able to make our members feel so seen and deserving without the quality products from Second Harvest. Especially during the pandemic, it’s powerful to observe what partnerships can do for our community.”

Visit our Nutrition Center to try one of Tadashi’s recipes today.