Small Fry is Making a Difference!

  • Teaching kids how to shop wisely, cook creatively on a budget, and strives to send the children home with a meal or two for their families each week. Families learn how to establish healthy lifestyles; children learn to interact positively.
  • Exposing children in today’s on-the-go-families to the nutritional and personal value of home cooking and eating a family meal together.
  • Creating a sense of community in a population that needs a continuity of care, providing consistency and stability. Many of these children are from single-parent homes or foster care.
  • Bolstering the children’s math skills and reading skills through calculating measurements, serving sizes and reading recipes.
  • Helping find solutions for produce that is sometimes too expensive for families on fixed incomes.
  • Pre-training children, many of whom will be the future of the local food service and hospitality industry, in the value of informed choices and proper nutrition.
  • Since March 2012, Small Fry has hosted over 120 classes with approximately 45 students per class. Over 525 students have been exposed to and educated about healthy eating habits, using healthy ingredients in recipes, and food preparation – all in a fun, loving, parent/child, educational, community atmosphere. Small Fry students & volunteers have prepared over 5,000 meals together in this unique on-on-one classroom setting.
  • In 2017, Small Fry plans to expand into three additional recreation centers. 

Please see our Fall Schedule for additional events!

Did You Know?

  • Each Small Fry session costs approximately $300 in ingredients and supplies for 50 meals. 
  • The costs of over $28,000 per year have been funded through the generous support of Small Fry’s Founder, Alissa McLaughlin, and individual donors. 
  • Our generous partners have donated $32,500 of In-Kind Goods & Services to build and sustain the Small Fry program to date.
Sponsors include: 

- Ernst & Young, LLC: donated shelving & interns to update & set up storage areas.
- Liberti Church & Migali Refrigeration: donated commercial grade kitchen equipment enabling Small Fry to increase its storage capacity to better serve its students. 

Studies Show:

Check with any health organization and you will find that under-nourishment is a major factor contributing to impaired learning. This does not always mean lack of enough food. Many obese children in the U.S. are also under-nourished. What then, is lacking? Foods adequately providing "the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals” (Kids Health). It is not only inadequate quantity, but can also include inadequate health benefits of the food itself.

Some sobering statistics are cited by The Borgen Project, based on a study of 3,000 children from India, Peru, and other countries, over the course of their lives: "In comparison to their healthy counterparts, malnourished children score 7% lower on math tests, are 19% less likely to be able to read a simple sentence at eight years old, are 12% less likely to be able to write a simple sentence, and are 13% less likely to be in the appropriate grade for their age at school.” In the same study, these children are noted as growing up to become "20% less successful in later life.” Does this mean two out of every ten children will have adulthood difficulties because of nutrition challenges early in life? Small Fry is helping to make the answer to this a resounding "no,” in our local community.

In the United States, many children in under-served communities experience malnourishment due to the higher cost of healthy food. For others, it is a simple matter of not knowing how to prepare healthy meals and snacks with the known, available options. In these communities, these issues are likely to affect more than two out of ten. Small Fry seeks to bring alleviation and hope to the families in the communities we serve. Every Saturday children and their parents learn a new recipe using healthy, cost-effective ingredients. Sometimes there are new food items that children may not have been previously exposed to, and sometimes new ways of preparation are taught that are both easy and fun. The added benefit is that these recipes make fun family activities!

Small Fry’s core values are in line with the CDC’s core message, which includes: "Healthy students are better learners . . . on all levels of academic achievement: academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes . . . Investing in the health of students contributes to healthy communities in the future.” 

Please consider helping Small Fry as we invest in the development and future of our children, today. 

Want to Do More? Become a Small Fry Sponsor. 

For more information about becoming an individual sponsor, the many ways you can help,or for large donations or corporate sponsorship, please email 

For more information on partnering with your time or donating specific items, please visit our Helping Hands and Wish List pages.

~ Small Fry relies solely on monetary and in-kind donations of equipment, services and food on a weekly basis. Every little bit helps and is genuinely appreciated by the Small Fry kids and families. Thank you for your support!


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Just for Kids

744 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146 • • (215) 407-5295

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